Smile for his people ... Kim Jong-un.

Warned ... North Korea leader Kim Jong-un. Photo: AFP

The UN Security Council has strongly condemned North Korea's rocket launch, said it will impose new sanctions, and warned that it will take further action if Pyongyang conducts another launch or a new nuclear test.

A presidential statement, approved by all 15 council members and read at a formal meeting on Monday, said Friday's launch, "as well as any use of ballistic missile technology, even if characterised as a satellite launch or space launch vehicle, is a serious violation of UN resolutions".

The security council adopted a resolution imposing sanctions against North Korea after its first nuclear test in 2006, and stepped up the sanctions after its second test in 2009.

North Korea's attempt on Friday to launch a satellite ended in failure when the rocket disintegrated over the Yellow Sea.

Western nations have said the launch was a cover for the testing of a long-range missile, and worries remain about North Korea's nuclear program amid reports that it may be planning another atomic test soon.

The security council demanded on Monday that North Korea halt any further launches and said Friday's launch "has caused grave concerns in the region".

US ambassador Susan Rice, the current council president, said the speedy adoption of the statement "shows that the international community is united" in sending a strong message to North Korea and said its companies dealing in nuclear technology would be added to the sanctions list.

The council said it asked the security council committee monitoring sanctions against North Korea to prepare new additions for the sanctions list within 15 days, and said if it doesn't the council itself would take action within five days to expand the sanctions list.

The council expressed "its determination to take action accordingly in the event of a further DPRK launch or nuclear test," the statement said, using the initials of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

AP