Kim Jong-un north korea.jpg
Photograph: EPA/KCNA/HANDOUT

The United Nations and United States condemned North Korea's unsuccessful launch of a ballistic missile from its east coast Friday.

"Although the DPRK's ballistic missile launch was a failure, this attempt constituted a clear violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions," the UN Security Council said late Friday, using the formal name for North Korea.

The White House "strongly" condemned the launch, noting that any ballistic missile launches are banned under the UN resolution on North Korea's nuclear weapons programme.

The US has bolstered missile defence capabilities in the region, naval deployments and assets in Alaska "in response to this threat" and "to ensure that the US homeland remains safe," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.

The Musudan medium-range missile was launched off North Korea's eastern coast early Friday before going off course and disappearing from radar, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

The missile reportedly has a range of 3,000-4,000 kilometres, putting the US military installations on Guam in the Pacific Ocean within striking distance, the report said.

Earnest said the US would work with the international community "to make clear that North Korea faces the prospect of even further isolation as a result of their provocative acts."

The regime held its fourth nuclear test explosion in January, and launched a long-range rocket in February, prompting the UN Security Council to impose its strictest sanctions ever on Pyongyang.

Seoul had been expecting Pyongyang to stage military events to coincide with the anniversary of the birth of the late founder and leader of North Korea, Kim Il Sung, that fell Friday.

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