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North Korea has fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile, according to South Korean military. The missile was launched around 11.30am Seoul time (2.30am UK time) in waters east of the Korean peninsula, the South's Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

It comes after North Korea dubbed the United States's blacklisting of dictator Kim Jong Un a 'declaration of war' and warned it is planning a tough response.

Pyongyang released a furious statement on Thursday after Washington blacklisted the nuclear-armed country's leader for human rights abuses. It described the sanctioning of Kim as a 'hideous crime' that is 'an open declaration of war', according to North Korea's official KCNA news agency.

"... the U.S. dared challenge the dignity of (North Korea) supreme leadership, an act reminiscent of a new-born puppy knowing no fear of a tiger," the statement said.

"This is the worst hostility and an open declaration of war against (North Korea) as it has gone far beyond the confrontation over the human rights issue."

In response, the U.S. government urged Pyongyang to refrain from statements and actions that raise tensions in the region.

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