GENEVA U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said North Korea's long-range rocket test on Friday was deplorable, in direct violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1874, and threatened regional stability.
"Despite its failure, the launch of a so-called application satellite by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on 13 April 2012 is deplorable as it defies the firm and unanimous stance of the international community," Ban said in a statement read out by a U.N. spokeswoman in Geneva.
North Korea admitted its much hyped long-range rocket failed to deliver a satellite into orbit on Friday while U.S. and South Korean officials said it crashed into the sea a few minutes after launch.
The U.N. Security Council was to meet on Friday to discuss a possible condemnation of the launch, but opposition from veto-wielding permanent members China and Russia means new sanctions are highly unlikely.
The statement said Ban urged North Korea not to undertake any further provocative actions that would heighten tension in the region.
"The Secretary-General renews his call on the DPRK authorities to work towards building confidence with neighboring countries and improving the life of its people.
"As the Secretary-General of the United Nations, he reaffirms his commitment to working for peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and helping the people of the DPRK, in particular, by addressing the serious food and nutrition needs of the most vulnerable."
(Reporting by Tom Miles; Editing by Jon Hemming)