Japan, along with the United States and South Korea, condemned North Korea's ballistic missile launches Wednesday, including one that landed in Japan's exclusive economic zone, and pressed for a quick U.N. Security Council response.

"We strongly condemn it," Japan's Ambassador Koro Bessho told reporters after the council held an emergency meeting to discuss the launches, calling them "a new step" in North Korea's development of nuclear and missile capabilities.

"We see (it) as a grave violation of certainly the resolutions of the Security Council that have been passed before, but it is certainly a major, major problem for the security and safety of our region," he said.