North Korea fires short-range missile along its coast

In response, the UN Security Council imposed harsh financial and trade sanctions on the country to choke off its revenue sources, while South Korea, the US and Japan ordered additional unilateral sanctions.

The North fired the "short-range projectile" from a location near the eastern city of Wonsan around 5:40 pm (0840 GMT) which flew about 200 kilometres (124 miles), Seoul's Joint Chief of Staff said in a statement.

North Korea fired a "short-range projectile" into the East Sea, South Korean military sources told local media on Tuesday, in an apparent attempt to counter-act ongoing joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises.

North Korea condemns the annual military drills between Washington and Seoul as a rehearsal for an invasion.

In his talks with Park and Abe, Obama is sure to discuss the ramped-up rhetoric coming from North Korea, which carried out a nuclear test in January and a long-range rocket launch a month later, triggering new global sanctions.

The North responded by intensifying its push to develop nuclear weapons - releasing repeated threats to attack South Korea and the United States, as well as boasting of new nuclear warhead technology.

Dozens of world leaders are heading to Washington for the nuclear summit.

Last Friday, the North test-fired two medium range ballistic missiles, while a US think tank said recent satellite images showed activity at the North's main nuclear test site that suggest a further underground detonation could take place "any time".

However, North Korea fired six short-range missiles into the Sea of Japan just hours after the vote.

Beijing has said Xi will push Obama to resume talks on the North Korean nuclear issue.

A man watches a TV screen showing a file footage of the missile launch conducted by North Korea, at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, March 21, 2016.

Vanessa Coleman