Seoul: North Korea on Tuesday appeared to have tried and failed with a fresh ballistic missile launch in violation of existing UN resolutions, South Korea`s Defence Ministry said.
The UN measures ban North Korea from any use of ballistic missile technology, although it regularly fires short-range missiles into the sea off its east coast.
Tensions have been running high on the divided Korean peninsula since the North`s fourth nuclear test in January, followed by a long-range rocket launch the following month.
The defence ministry in Seoul said the missile test took place at around 5:20am (2020 GMT Monday) near the eastern port city of Wonsan.
"The attempted missile launch ... is believed to have failed," a ministry spokesman said.
"We are analysing and closely monitoring the situation and maintaining a watertight defence posture," he added.
The ministry declined to speculate on the type of missile, but the South`s Yonhap news agency quoted military sources saying it was understood to be a medium-range Musudan missile.
In April, the North failed three times to test-fire a Musudan, which has an estimated range of anywhere between 2,500 and 4,000 kilometres (1,550 to 2,500 miles).
The lower range covers the whole of South Korea and Japan, while the upper range would include US military bases on Guam.
The missile has never been successfully flight-tested.