North Korea has test launched a ballistic missile towards South Korea’s eastern waters while an American warship was on manoeuvres in the region.

The test launch, which is the second from North Korea this week, comes a day before US Vice President Kamala Harris visits Seoul, the South Korean capital.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff of South Korea said they detected the missile launch, but have not given any other details about when or where the weapon was fired and on the distance it travelled.

The American nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan, is currently on exercise in the region with the South Korean navy.

Ms Harris is expected to arrive in Seoul on Thursday for talks with President Yoon Suk-yeol. She is also due to visit the border with North Korea to emphasise the power of the US-South Korean alliance and the US commitment to “stand beside” South Korea against threats from Pyongyang.

North Korea has increased its activity to a record rate this year, testing more than 30 ballistic weapons.

More on North Korea

A short-range missile was launched on Sunday and taken as a response to the US-South Korean naval drills, which it views as an invasion rehearsal.

North Korea is thought to be taking advantage of a rift in the United Nations Security Council that grew over Russia’s war in Ukraine to increase its arms development.

The North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, has said several times that he would use nuclear weapons in retaliation if provoked or threatened. This has created more security concerns in the South.