It comes days after the election of a new South Korean president.
The launch took place at a region named Kusong located northwest of the capital, Pyongyang, where the North previously test-launched its intermediate-range missile it is believed to be developing.
The North has staged two atomic tests and dozens of missile launches since the start of past year in its quest to develop a nuclear warhead capable of reaching the US.
South Korea called a meeting of its national security council, the President's office said.
Sunday's launch was the North's first-known missile test in two weeks.
"The United States should never expect us to give up our nuclear capability", the main Rodong newspaper said in a commentary carried by the Korean Central News Agency.
"North Korea's repeated missile launches are a grave threat to our country and a clear violation of UN resolutions", Abe told reporters, adding Japan will stay in close touch with the United States and South Korea.
Moon has taken a much more conciliatory position towards the North compared to his predecessor Park Geun-hye, who was removed from office in a corruption scandal. North Korea needs tests to flawless its missile program, but it also is thought to stage its launches after the elections of new USA and South Korean presidents in an attempt to gauge a new administration's reaction. President Donald Trump has also said he'd be "honored" to talk with leader Kim Jong Un under favorable conditions.
The JCS said, "Our military is maintaining a full defense posture, closely monitoring the North Korean military's move".