South Korea's military said the missile reached an estimated altitude of about 770km (478 miles) and travelled 3,700km before landing in the sea off Hokkaido.
Japan's PM Shinzo Abe said his country would "never tolerate" such "dangerous provocative action".
"If North Korea continues to walk down this path, it has no bright future," he said in a statement.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also condemned the launch, which contravened UN sanctions.
He put the burden of response on China and Russia, nuclear-armed North Korea's main economic partners, saying they "must indicate their intolerance for these reckless missile launches by taking direct actions of their own".