South Korea has strongly condemned North Korea's latest missile launch attempt. The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement Sunday the launch was "a clear violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions" and an "illegal act of provocation."
Earlier, the U.S. military reported that North Korea tried to launch an intermediate-range ballistic missile Saturday, but the effort failed.
The U.S. Strategic Command said its monitoring systems detected the launch attempt at midday Saturday in northwestern North Korea (at 0333 UTC Saturday / 2333 EDT Friday), and NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, said analysts determined the missile did not pose any threat to North America.
Officials in Washington, however, stressed the United States' continuing vigilance "in the face of North Korean provocations," and the nation's "iron-clad" commitment to working together with U.S. allies South Korea and Japan to maintain security in northeast Asia.
U.S. military officials said the North Korean missile was presumed to be a Musadan intermediate-range rocket, and its launch point was near the city of Kusŏng.
"We strongly condemn this and North Korea's other recent missile tests," said U.S. Navy Commander Gary Ross, a Pentagon spokesman. "We intend to raise our concerns at the U.N. to bolster international resolve in holding the DPRK accountable for these actions."
In addition to already conducting an unprecedented two nuclear tests this year, Pyongyang has advanced its land-based and submarine-based ballistic missile capabilities with numerous launches in the last six months.
VOA's Carla Babb contributed to this report.