"At 06.42am (5.42am Singapore time) today, North Korea fired a ballistic missile from Sinpo area into the Sea of Japan", the ministry said in a statement.
"The government strictly protested and strongly condemned it", Yoshihide Suga, Chief Cabinet Secretary said.
Kim has signaled that his regime is working on a missile capable of reaching the United States, saying in his New Year's Day address that North Korea had "entered the final stage of preparation for a test-launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile".
"We would have loved to see North Korea join the community of nations", said the official.
Trading was light ahead of USA data releases and meetings later in the week between President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping. The effect of further sanctions is questionable as North Korea puts the survival of its ruling elite before the wellbeing of its struggling populace and already is one of the most heavily penalized places on earth.
On Sino-North Korean trade, the official said the economic leverage of China has not gone down with the, adding the issue will figure in the discussion.
TOKYO (AP) - Shares wavered Wednesday in Asia as regional markets appeared to shrug off the latest North Korean missile test.
This combination of file photos show U.S. President Donald Trump, right, in a meeting at the White House in Washington, on March 31, 2017, and China's President Xi Jinping in a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijin.
"We would like to work on North Korea together", the official said in a briefing for reporters, just as news of the latest projectile was breaking. It was launched from a land-based facility near Sinpo, North Korea.
Some experts said that China may have beefed up surveillance along the border with North Korea in an expression of its anger against Seoul and Washington's ongoing deployment of an advanced US missile defense system.
In February, it blasted a Pukguksong-2 intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) from a mobile launcher.
Hyten added that America's early missile program was based on liquid fueled rockets that could be unstable and unsafe but "a solid is a much better solution".
Xi will hope he is greeted by Trump the gracious host rather than the rhetorical bomb thrower who has spoken about China s "rape" of the U.S. economy and predicted a "very difficult" meeting with Xi.
Increased tensions in North Korea would nearly certainly prompt an larger U.S. military presence in Northeast Asia, encroaching on what China increasingly sees as its sphere of influence.
The testing of nuclear weapons by North Korea is expected to figure prominently in talks between the Trump and Jinping during their meeting, the official said on condition of anonymity.
The U.S. president is seemingly applying pressure on China beforehand in an attempt to gain the upper hand at the summit.
But behind the tactical differences in how to approach North Korea is a broader strategic struggle - one that pits an established hegemon against a fast-rising challenger.
He will have to deal with China on a series of related and unrelated issues including the need for Beijing to be stronger in its sanctions on North Korea; for it to end retaliatory measures against Seoul over the deployment of the US -led Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (Thaad) antimissile system; as well as easing uneven trade between China and the United States.