North Korea has test-fired a ballistic missile off its eastern coast prompting immediate international condemnation.
The test is the latest in a series of missile launches by North Korea in defiance of United Nations resolutions.
South Korea said it showed the North's ambition to attack its neighbours.
Japan said the missile travelled 1000km and landed in the Sea of Japan, inside its exclusive economic zone.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said it posed a grave threat to Japan's security, calling it an "unforgiveable act of violence", and said Tokyo had protested strongly against it.
The United States similarly condemned the launch.
"We remain prepared to work to respond to further DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] provocations, as well as to defend ourselves and our allies from any attack or provocation," said State Department spokeswoman Anna Richey-Allen.
Its Strategic Command said two missiles had been fired simultaneously on Wednesday and that one exploded immediately after launch.
North Korea is barred from developing nuclear and ballistic missile technology by UN resolution, but it has vowed a "physical response" to the US and Seoul's plan to deploy an advanced missile defence system in South Korea.
North Korea has previously said it was testing its ability to strike bases used by US forces in South Korea.