Seoul says North Korean object that drew fire was likely balloon

In January 2016, the military fired on a North Korean drone that flew into the demilitarized zone, and in September 2014, a South Korean fisherman found a drone that was also believed to have come from there.

"We don't see why dialogue can not take place in the current situation now", Liu said.

Sunday's launch by North Korea was confirmed by the United States and Japan.

The North has proudly publicized its plans to develop a missile capable of striking the United States and has ignored calls to halt its weapons programs, even from China.

It traveled about 310 miles (500 kilometers) before landing in the Sea of Japan, according to South Korea's armed forces.

China urged North Korea not to violate UN Security Council resolutions with its nuclear and missile programmes, after Pyongyang said it had successfully tested what it called an intermediate-range ballistic missile.

Asked about imposing new sanctions, the Chinese ambassador responded that "this was a hypothetical question" and added that current sanctions must be applied "in a comprehensive way". It instructed the United Nations sanctions committee to redouble efforts to implement a raft of tough measures adopted past year.

"The members of the Security Council agreed that the Security Council would continue to closely monitor the situation and take further significant measures including sanctions, in line with the Council's previously expressed determination", according to the statement.

Kim reportedly said the launch was a success, "approved the deployment of this weapon system for action" and said that it should "be rapidly mass-produced".

"We hope we will be able to strengthen the sanctions mechanism", he said.

US President Donald Trump has warned that a "major, major conflict" with North Korea is possible if Pyongyang won't change its ways.

Mr Moon has adopted a more conciliatory stance than his predecessor, calling for more dialogue with the North.

In March, a North Korean defector filled balloons with information about the murder of Kim Jong Un's half-brother, Kim Jong Nam, before floating them into the rogue state.

After North Korea conducted a nuclear test in September past year, the government widened the criteria for those who are targeted with re-entry bans and asset freezes in December.

  • Leroy Wright