China has called for "restraint" after North Korea's latest missile test, warning against ramping up tensions in the region.

The missile flew more than 700km before landing in the Sea of Japan (East Sea) surrounded by the Korean peninsula, Japan and the Russian far east.

China said it opposes North Korea's "violation of the (UN) Security Council's resolutions", the foreign ministry said in a statement.

"All relevant parties should exercise restraint and refrain from further aggravating tensions in the region," it said.

An EU spokesperson said that the test-firing of the ballistic missile constitutes a "threat to international peace and security".

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping expressed concern about rising tensions on the Korean peninsula.

Meeting on the sidelines of an international forum in Beijing, Mr Putin and Mr Xi both "expressed their concern over the escalation of tensions", a Russian spokesman said.

US President Donald Trump called for tougher sanctions against Pyongyang after the latest test.

The White House said with the rocket landing "so close to Russian soil ... the president cannot imagine that Russia is pleased".

China has been under growing pressure, particularly from the United States, to help rein in the North's leader Kim Jong-un.

The missile test is likely to embarrass Beijing, which is hosting a summit today to promote its ambitious global trade infrastructure project.

China, the isolated North's sole major ally and economic lifeline, has been reluctant to exert pressure to upset the status quo in Pyongyang and risk an influx of refugees from its neighbour.

A North Korean delegation was expected to attend the meeting in the Chinese capital.