Washington: The US today strongly condemned the North Korea's launch of a long-range rocket a month after it claimed a successful hydrogen bomb test, describing the move by the hermit nation as "destabilising and provocative."
"The United States strongly condemns today's missile launch by the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) - a flagrant violation of UN Security Council resolutions related to its use of ballistic missile technology," the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, said in a statement.
"This is the second time in just over a month that the DPRK has chosen to conduct a major provocation, threatening not only the security of the Korean peninsula, but that of the region and the United States as well," he said.
On January 6, Pyongyang has claimed to have successfully detonated a powerful hydrogen bomb, prompting South Korea and Japan to demand fresh round of punitive sanctions on the country.
Kerry said the US will stand with its allies, including the Republic of Korea and Japan, and will hold the DPRK to account.
Stressing the need for a firm and united response, Kerry called for measures that makes clear the determination of the international community to address the pursuit of nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities by the DPRK.
Describing the move as "yet another destabilising and provocative action," White House National Security Advisor Susan Rice said that the launch undermines peace and stability in the volatile region.
"North Korea's missile and nuclear weapons programs represent serious threats to our interests--including the security of some of our closest allies--and undermine peace and security in the broader region," she said.
"We condemn today's launch and North Korea's determination to prioritise its missile and nuclear weapons programs over the well-being of its people, whose struggles only intensify with North Korea's diversion of scarce resources to such destabilising activities," Rice said.
"We call upon the international community to stand together and demonstrate to North Korea that its reckless actions must have serious consequences," she said.
According to the US Strategic Command systems which detected and tracked the North Korean missile launch into space said the missile was tracked on a southerly launch over the Yellow Sea.
The improvised North Korea is already under numerous economic sanctions for its controversial nuclear and ballistic missile programme, and the latest move can invite more punitive sanctions by the UN.