Kim Jong-un was said to be at the launch but South Korea says it hasn’t verified the claims.
Japan says it reached an altitude of 2,000km which, if confirmed, could show a technological advance.
North Korea says it held the university worker on suspicion of “hostile acts” against the state.
Donald Trump’s strategy aims to apply both economic and diplomatic pressure on Kim Jong-un.
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The Carl Vinson strike group sailed in the opposite direction despite US statements, it has emerged.
The US defence secretary says the US is working with China to reduce tensions.
A senior official tells the BBC this may happen “weekly”, as the US warns: “Don’t test Trump.”
US Vice-President Mike Pence says “all options are on the table” when dealing with Pyongyang.
After North Korea tested its latest missile, the BBC’s John Sudworth reports from Pyongyang.