North Korea's attempt to launch an intermediate ballistic missile near the city of Kusong has failed, according to the US and South Korean militaries.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs Of Staff (JCS) has reported that the missile was believed to be a mid-range Musudan projectile.

The test firing failed as the missile exploded immediately after it was launched near an airport in the North Pyongan province, the Associated Press reported.

"We strongly condemn this and North Korea's other recent missile tests."

According to the US military, the missile did not pose a threat to North America.

US Department of Defense spokesman commander Gary Ross was quoted by the news agency as saying: "We strongly condemn this and North Korea's other recent missile tests, which violate UN Security Council Resolutions explicitly prohibiting North Korea's launches using ballistic missile technology.

"Our commitment to the defence of our allies, including the Republic of Korea and Japan, in the face of these threats, is ironclad.

"We remain prepared to defend ourselves and our allies from any attack or provocation."

The UN Security Council has condemned the recent missile launches carried out in North Korea, as these violate a resolution made by the 15-nation body.

The resolution prohibits North Korea's use of ballistic missile technology.