SEOUL, South Korea -- The US Strategic Command said it detected and tracked what it assessed was a medium- or intermediate-range ballistic missile test-fired by North Korea.

It further said it did not pose a threat to North America.

The command said the launch occurred near the northwestern city of Kusong.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un warned in his New Year's address that his country was ready to test its first intercontinental ballistic missile, which could threaten the US mainland.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is condemning the latest missile launch as "absolutely intolerable" and President Donald Trump is assuring Japan that the US stands behind it "100 percent."

Abe and Trump appeared together for a statement Saturday night following reports that North Korea fired a ballistic missile in what would be its first such test of the year.

In a ballroom at Trump's south Florida estate, Abe read a brief statement in which he called on the North to comply fully with relevant UN Security Council resolutions. He said Trump has assured him of US support and that Trump's presence showed the president's determination and commitment.

Trump followed Abe with even fewer words, saying in part: "I just want everybody to understand and fully know that the United States of America stands behind Japan, its great ally, 100 percent."

South Korea's presidential Blue House says the presidential security director Kim Kwan Jin has spoken with President Donald Trump's national security adviser Michael Flynn over the phone following North Korea's missile test launch.

According to the statement, the two officials strongly condemned the launch and agreed that the countries will explore every possible way to suppress North Korean provocations.

South Foreign Ministry said the missile test-launch, along with Kim Jong Un's threat to fire an intercontinental ballistic missile in his New Year's address, shows the "irrational nature" of a government that "fanatically" obsesses with developing nuclear ballistic missiles.

It issued the statement in response to what it said was the North's first ballistic missile launch this year. It strongly condemned the launch as a "blatant and obvious" violation of UN Security Council resolutions and a "serious threat" to international security.

The ministry says that the South will continue to work with allies including the United States, Japan and the European Union to ensure a thorough implementation of sanctions against the North and make the country realize that it will "never be able to survive" without discarding all of its nuclear and missile programs.

Its Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn says his country will respond to punish rival North Korea for Sunday's missile launch.

According to Yonhap news agency, Hwang says South Korea in tandem with the international community "is doing its best to ensure a corresponding response to punish the North" for its missile launch. (AP)