STORY: Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi said that "the launch comes as the international community responds to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and that is absolutely unacceptable," according to Japan's deputy defence minister Makoto Oniki.
Oniki put the missile's range at 500km (311 miles) and its maximum altitude at 800km (497 miles). He said the ministry was still analysing the data to determine what type of missile it was.
The launch, which marks the North's 14th major weapons test this year, comes days before South Korea's newly elected President Yoon Suk-yeol takes office on May 10. Officials in Seoul and Washington say it may also be preparing for a new round of nuclear tests.