The United States has called on the international community to cut all diplomatic and trade ties with North Korea after a groundbreaking missile test by the regime.

The US has urged tough action as emergency talks on North Korea's latest provocation opened in the UN Security Council.

Pyongyang tested its third intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) this week, which it claimed was capable of striking anywhere in the United States, after a two-month pause in missile launches.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said the test of the Hwasong-15 weapons system had helped his country achieve the goal of becoming a full nuclear power, as the international community expressed outrage.

"We call on all nations to cut off all ties with North Korea," Washington's ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, told her fellow envoys.

Ms Haley said President Donald Trump had called Chinese President Xi Jinping and urged him to "cut off the oil from North Korea".

"That would be a pivotal step in the world's effort to stop this international pariah," she said, issuing a stern warning to Mr Kim.

"If war comes, make no mistake: The North Korean regime will be utterly destroyed," she said.

The UN Security Council was meeting at the request of the US, Japan and South Korea after three rounds of sanctions adopted in the past year failed to push North Korea to change course.

France's UN Ambassador Francois Delattre said the council should respond with a "tightening of the sanctions", a move that would likely entail the adoption of a new sanctions resolution.

Japanese Ambassador Koro Bessho said "the international community has to keep the pressure up".

Russia called the launch "provocative" and Beijing expressed "grave concern and opposition".

"We see this negatively. We have repeatedly stated that the pressure of sanctions has been exhausted," the country’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told journalists in the Belarusian capital Minsk.

China once again pressed its proposal that North Korea stop missile and nuclear tests in exchange for a freeze of US military exercises, a proposal that the US has repeatedly rejected.

US President Donald Trump has spoken to South Korean President Moon Jae-In for the second time since North Korea launched its latest missile to discuss their response, the White House said.

"The presidents reiterated their strong commitment to enhancing the alliances deterrence and defense capabilities," it said in a statement.

"Both leaders reaffirmed their strong commitment to compelling North Korea to return to the path of denuclearisation at any cost."

Germany says it is withdrawing a third diplomat from its embassy in North Korea over increasing concerns about Pyongyang's missile program, Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said. 

Berlin strongly condemned the test as a violation of international law.