TOKYO: Japan, China and South Korea agreed to urge North Korea to refrain from provocation and follow UN Security Council resolutions, after the country's latest missile launch towards Japan early on Wednesday.

"We have confirmed that we will urge North Korea to exercise self-restraint regarding its provocative action, and to observe the UN Security Council's resolutions," Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida told a news conference after hosting a trilateral meeting with his Chinese and South Korean counterparts.

A North Korean submarine fired a ballistic missile on Wednesday that flew about 500 km (311 miles) towards Japan, a show of improving technological capability for the isolated country that has conducted a series of launches in defiance of UN sanctions.