The United States, supported by Britain and France, asked the UN Security Council to meet in closed session on Thursday to discuss North Koreas launch of an intermediate-range ballistic missile, diplomatic sources said.

North Korea confirmed the day before yesterday that it had launched a Hwasong-12, the type of ballistic missile with which it had previously threatened Guam Island, raising fears that Pyongyang may resume long-range missile tests.

It was North Koreas seventh missile test in the past month and the first missile of this size, capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, since 2017. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the launch yesterday (Tuesday) and called on Pyongyang to refrain from furthercounterproductive actions, a spokesman said.

This is a violation of the 2018 announcement of a moratorium on such launches by the Kim Jong Un regime and a clear violation of a Security Council resolution, UN spokesman Farhan Haq said. He added that it is of great concern that North Korea has again defied the safety of international flights and navigation.

Since 2006, the UN has imposed sanctions on North Korea, which the Security Council has progressively tightened in an attempt to prevent the financing of Pyongyangs nuclear programme.