BEIJING, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- The international community has generally denounced the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) over its latest test-launch of a ballistic missile on Sunday.
The presumed intermediate-range Musudan ballistic missile was launched at around 7:55 a.m. local time (2255 GMT Saturday) near Banghyeon in the DPRK's northwestern North Pyongan province.
The projectile, capable of putting the entire Japan and the U.S. military base in Guam within its target range, flew about 500 km and landed in waters off the DPRK's east coast.
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the launch was clearly a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions and such "acts of provocation" were "intolerable."
Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, currently accompanying Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on a visit to the United States, told the press that Japan is asking the U.N. to issue a "strong message" against the DPRK.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday pledged U.S. support to Japan after the launch.
"I just want everybody to understand and fully know that the United States of America stands behind Japan, its great ally, 100 percent," Trump said in a hastily called joint press conference with Abe in Florida.
In Seoul, the South Korean Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the launch was a clear violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions and a serious threat to peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and the international community.
The statement said the repeated DPRK provocations are a direct challenge to the international community's concerted will reflected in Resolution 2321, unanimously adopted by the U.N. Security Council.
In a statement issued by his spokesman, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday strongly condemned the launch, saying it is "a further troubling violation of (U.N.) Security Council resolutions".
"The DPRK leadership must return to full compliance with its international obligations and to the path of denuclearization," Guterres said in the statement, calling "the international community to continue to address this situation in a united manner."
The U.N. Security Council is expected to hold consultations on the missile test, diplomats said at the U.N. headquarters in New York.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said Monday that the ballistic missile launch by the DPRK "cannot but cause regret and concern."
"We deem the DPRK's missile launch on Sunday as another defiant disregard of relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions," said a foreign ministry statement, adding that "in current situations, we call on all parties concerned to keep calm and refrain from actions that could further escalate tensions."
The ministry said it sees no alternative to political and diplomatic means for the settlement of the Korean Peninsula issues, including the denuclearization in the region.
However, a senior Russian lawmaker warned Sunday that unilateral responses to the missile test will only increase tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
"Unilateral actions taken by the United States, the Republic of Korea or Japan will only ratchet up the already high tensions," Konstantin Kosachev, chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Russian upper house of parliament, was quoted by the RIA Novosti agency as saying on Sunday.
Any response of the international community to the DPRK's missile launch should be made jointly within the frame of the U.N. Security Council or the Six-Party Talks, said Kosachev.
The Six-Party Talks, involving China, the DPRK, the United States, South Korea, Russia and Japan, were a multilateral mechanism aimed at solving the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue. The talks began in 2003 and stalled in December 2008. The DPRK quit the talks in April 2009.
The European Union (EU) on Sunday lashed out at the DPRK for the test-launch of the missile, slamming the "provocative and unacceptable" move as yet another violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions.
"The DPRK must halt all launches using ballistic missile technology and abandon once and for all its ballistic missile programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner, as required by the U.N. Security Council," a spokesperson of the European External Action Service, the EU's diplomatic service, said in a statement.
Urging the DPRK to reengage in talks with the international community, in particular the Six-Party Talks, the spokesperson said EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini will further discuss international response with her counterparts.
China is opposed to the test-launch of the ballistic missile by the DPRK, which is in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions, said a Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Monday.
China calls for the parties concerned to exercise restraint and maintain regional stability, spokesperson Geng Shuang told a routine press briefing.
The DPRK on Monday claimed it successfully test-fired a surface-to-surface medium- and long-range ballistic missile known as Pukguksong-2, and its top leader Kim Jong Un guided the test firing, according to the state news agency KCNA.