North Korea has launched a ballistic missile, ramping up tensions in an already dangerously tense region following months of a stand-off between the rogue state and the United States over North Korea's nuclear program. US and South Korean officials confirmed the launch within the last hour and President Trump has already given his reaction to the launch. He sternly promised "It is a situation that we will handle. We will take care of it." The move comes days after the US placed the North back onto the list of state sponsors of terrorism after the rogue nation was removed from the list back in 2008 by then Republican president George W Bush.

Another provocation from Pyongyang

This latest missile launch is seen as a major provocation from Pyongyang. It was hoped the situation regarding North Korea may have been improving as the rogue state has not conducted a missile launch since September of this year. Before September, the nation was conducting missile launches and nuclear tests with frightening regularity. It has been claimed that the North Korean nuclear program is on the verge of being able to marry an improvised nuclear device with an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) which would give the nation the ability to be able to strike U.S Pacific territories of Guam and Hawaii and possibly even strike the mainland United States.

This trajectory of this latest missile is believed to have travelled from the south of North Korea eastwards, landing in the sea just off the coast of Japan. Back in September, a missile that was launched from inside North Korea travelled over the north of Japan, causing panic when alarms were sounded in the region. The Pentagon said at the time it detected a "probable" missile with spokesman Colonel Rob Manning saying "We are in the process of assessing the situation and will provide additional details when available." US sources had been saying for several days that they had detected the activity of a potential missile launch within the nation.

The stand-off between the United States and North Korea has been at an all-time high this year, several serious provocations by North Korea have led to a seemingly tit-for-tat response from each side. Earlier in the year, Donald Trump famously promised to bring "fire and fury" to North Korea and went on to call the leader of the despot nation "Little Rocket Man" in a speech at the UN.

It appeared tensions had started to decrease a little since North Korea had seemingly halted the tests since September. This latest move by North Korea is likely to raise the stakes yet again as this tense stand-off seems to become more reminiscent of some of the most frightening days of the Cold War.