North Korea has launched a missile into the sea, Japan and South Korea said, hours after Pyongyang announced plans to put a rocket into orbit apparently carrying its second military reconnaissance satellite.

North Korea had earlier notified Japan’s coast guard about its plans to launch “a satellite rocket” during a launch window from Monday through June 3.

Japanese officials lifted a missile alert issued for the island of Okinawa following North Korea’s launch, saying that the missile was believed not to be headed for its region.

North Korea sent its first military reconnaissance satellite into orbit in November last year as part of efforts to build a space-based surveillance network to cope with what it calls increasing US-led military threats.

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un later told a ruling party meeting that the country would launch three additional military spy satellites in 2024.

The UN bans North Korea from conducting any satellite launches, viewing them as covers for testing long-range missile technology.

North Korea has steadfastly maintained it has the right to launch satellites and test missiles.

Mr Kim has said spy satellites will allow his military to better monitor US and South Korean military activities and enhance the threat posed by its nuclear-capable missiles.

North Korea provides Japan with its launch information because Japan’s coast guard co-ordinates and distributes maritime safety information in East Asia.