India on Wednesday reacted strongly to the rocket launch by North Korea, saying the 'unwarranted action' by that country has adversely impact peace and stability in the Korean peninsula.
In a statement, the ministry of external affairs said India was concerned over the rocket launch which was in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1874.
India also asked North Korea to refrain from such action. North Korea on Wednesday successfully launched a long-range rocket. The three-stage rocket had achieved all its objectives, it said.
"The launch of the second version of our Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite from the Sohae Space Centre ... on December 12 was successful," the Korean Central News Agency said.
"The satellite has entered the orbit as planned," it said. Reacting to the development, Japan said it 'cannot tolerate' the 'extremely regrettable' launch. Britain also 'deplored' North Korea's action.
The United States also termed the long-range missile launch as a 'highly provocative act', saying it threatened regional stability as American aerospace command said the test marked an apparent technological success for the hermit nation.
"North Korea's launch today-using ballistic missile technology despite express prohibitions by United Nations Security Council resolutions is a highly provocative act and is yet another example of its pattern of irresponsible behaviour," National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said.
"The US remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations and fully committed to the security of our allies in the region," he said.
China also rapped its close ally North Korea over its long-range missile launch, demanding that Pyongyang comply with the UN resolution against ballistic missiles.
Quoting a reaction from the country's foreign ministry, official Xinhua news agency urged all nations in the region to exercise restraint. The North American Aerospace Defence Command, a joint US-Canadian agency which said it had monitored flight of the
missile said North Korea appeared to have successfully launched an object in orbit on a missile, marking a technological success for the nation.
NORAD Command officials said that US missile warning systems detected and tracked the launch of the North Korean missile at 7:49 pm eastern standard time.
The missile was tracked on a southerly azimuth. Initial indications are that the first stage fell into the Yellow Sea. The second stage was assessed to fall into the Philippine Sea," NORAD said in a statement.
"Initial indications are that the missile deployed an object that appeared to achieve orbit," it said, adding that at no time was the missile or the resultant debris a threat to North America.
In New York, UN chief Ban Ki-moon deplored the rocket launch as he expressed concern over the 'negative consequences' the 'provocative' action might have on the peace and stability in the region.
Ban said the rocket launch by North Korea is a 'clear violation'of Security Council resolution 1874, in which the council had demanded that Korea not conduct any launch using ballistic missile technology.
He asked the leadership in Pyongyang not to carry out such a launch and instead to build confidence with its neighbours while taking steps to improve the lives of its people.
Russia expressed 'deep regret' over the launch, saying the reclusive nation had violated a UN Security Council resolution limiting its use of ballistic technology. Russia's foreign ministry said in a statement that the North Korean launch had heightened instability in the region and called on other nations to refrain from further escalating tensions.
"The new rocket launch carried out by North Korea flaunts the opinion of the international community, including calls from the Russian side, and leaves us with deep regret," it said.