Prime Minister Shinzo Abe swiftly condemned the test -- the second time this year that a North Korean missile has fallen close to its shores -- vowing concerted action with the US.
"We will never tolerate North Korea's continued provocations that ignore repeated warnings by the international community," Abe told reporters.
The North has been stepping up efforts towards its ultimate goal -- developing an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that can deliver a nuclear warhead to the continental US.
NATO officials have once again said that they are searching for ways to engage in meaningful dialogue with Russia. Asked to comment, international politics expert Viktor Nadein-Rajewski said that for now, he doesn't see any constructive steps toward Moscow on the alliance's part.
Asked to comment on Gottemoeller's remarks, and to weigh them against NATO's actual behavior, Viktor Nadein-Rajewski, a senior research fellow at the Moscow-based Institute of World Economy and International Relations, stressed that flowery rhetoric aside, Russia has not seen any positive steps emanating the alliance.
"Let's start from the fact that Moscow never turned its back on peace. Everything else is just fabrication and propaganda clichés," the observer said, speaking to Radio Sputnik.
It's a fact, Nadein-Rajewski added, that Russia-NATO "relations have reached a level where no room for improvement can be seen."
"Of course NATO would like, without any conciliatory gestures apart from verbal ones, to get Russia's consent to what is, let's be blunt, the occupation of the remaining territories of the former Soviet Union. After all, their forces are being deployed there, with Ukraine and Georgia in line [for membership]."
"But I do not see any constructive steps on NATO's part toward Russia," the analyst stressed. "Some of their statements inspire hope, yes, but for now it's all talk of good intentions. NATO must abandon [policies] which pose a direct threat to Russia, threats to its territory. But for now this threat continues to exist."