North Korea says it has successfully tested a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile that can reach the whole of continental US.
State television claimed that Pyongyang had now achieved its mission of becoming a nuclear state.
The Hwasong-15 missile, which it said was its “most powerful”, was launched in darkness early on Wednesday.
It landed in Japanese waters but flew higher than any other missile the North has previously tested.
State news agency KCNA said that the missile reached an altitude of 4,475km (2,780 miles) and flew 950km for 53 minutes.
It added that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who personally signed off on the launch, “declared with pride that now we have finally realised the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force, the cause of building a rocket power”.
Japanese officials said the projectile did not fly over Japan, as some have done in the past, and landed about 250km off its northern coast.
The test has prompted swift international condemnation. The UN Security Council is due to convene an emergency session to discuss the latest test.
The launch was the latest in a series of weapons tests that raised tensions to unprecedented levels. Pyongyang last launched a ballistic missile in September, the same month it conducted its sixth nuclear test.
North Korea has continued to develop its nuclear and missile programme despite this global condemnation and sanctions.
Prior to North Korea’s test, US defence secretary James Mattis said the missile launch “went higher, frankly, than any previous shots they have taken”, and said North Korea poses a worldwide threat.
US President Donald Trump was briefed while the missile was still in the air, the White House said. Afterwards he said: “We will take care of it.”
Japan and South Korea have condemned the test, with the South launching its own missile test in response.