Just days prior to that launch, Pyongyang carried out a ballistic missile test, firing two rockets into the sea.
Both Russia and China have criticized North Korea, saying they do not recognize its nuclear ambitions, and that leader Kim Jong-Un should listen to the UN Security Council’s demands to return to the negotiation table.
However, both Moscow and Beijing agree that rising tensions on the Korean peninsula should not give the US a pretext to deploy a missile shield in the region.
Earlier this month, the “robust” new US-imposed sanctions, blocking businesses from any dealings with North Korea, in an attempt to punish Pyongyang for its nuclear tests.
In a March 2 vote, the United Nations Security Council unanimously approved one of the toughest sets of sanctions yet targeting North Korea.
The restrictions include the mandatory inspections of cargo leaving and entering the communist state by land, sea or air, and banned all sales or transfers of small arms and light weapons to Pyongyang. The UN punishment stipulates the expulsion of those diplomats from the North who engage in “illicit activities.”