PYANGONG: North Korea says it has successfully tested a long-range "intercontinental" missile.

It is the first time North Korea has claimed to have successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which could potentially have the range to reach the US mainland.

Earlier the US said a missile landed in the Sea of Japan but that it did not pose a threat to North America.

North Korea has increased the frequency of its missile tests, raising tensions.

An announcement on North Korea state television said a Hwasong-14 missile was tested on Tuesday, overseen by leader Kim Jong-un.

The announcement said the projectile reached an altitude of 2,802km (1,731 miles) and flew 933km before hitting a target in the sea.

Earlier the US Pacific Command said it was an intermediate-range missile.

While Pyongyang has appeared to have made progress, experts believe North Korea does not have the capability to accurately target a place with an ICBM, or miniaturise a nuclear warhead that can fit on to such a missile.

South Korea's President Moon Jae-in has called on the UN Security Council to take steps against North Korea.

He has ordered security and diplomatic officials to seek "Security Council measures in close co-operation with the country's allies, including the United States," his chief press secretary Yoon Young-chan told reporters.