Latest: China 'seriously concerned' about latest North Korea missile launch

Update - 10.55am: China's foreign ministry said the country is "seriously concerned about and opposed to" North Korea's latest missile test.

Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that China "strongly urges" the North to abide by Security Council resolutions and cease actions that might escalate tensions.

Mr Geng said all concerned parties should "act with caution and jointly safeguard regional peace and stability".

China is North Korea's only significant ally and biggest source of trade and aid, but has backed increasingly harsh UN Security Council resolutions in hopes of convincing Pyongyang to return to talks.

A man stands in front of a huge screen showing TV news program reporting North Korea's missile launch. Pic: AP

Russia described the test as a provocation that has hurt the chances for settling the ongoing crisis.

President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov voiced hope that all parties involved would "maintain the calm needed to prevent the situation on the Korean peninsula from developing along the worst scenario".

Mr Peskov condemned the North's missile test as a "provocative action that foments tensions and puts off the launch of efforts to settle the crisis situation".

The test took place just as a Russian parliamentary delegation was visiting Pyongyang.

Leonid Slutsky, head of the lower house's international affairs committee, said its members were conveying Moscow's concern and trying to encourage the North to "stop the destructive escalation of tensions".


7.30am: North Korea urged to 'change course' following latest missile launch

North Korea is being urged to 'change course' after launching a ballistic missile towards Japan.

The UN Security Council will meet this evening to discuss how to deal with the threat from the rogue nation.

North Korea claims the test shows their weapons are capable of "striking the whole US mainland".

South Korea's president Moon Jae-in has given his reaction.

"This action does not only increase tension on the North Korean peninsula but gravely endangers international peace and security.

"We strongly condemn North Korea in continuing such reckless behaviour."

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