Washington: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says the US would pursue "appropriate action" at the UN Security Council if North Korea goes ahead with a long-range rocket launch.

She said if North Korea wants a peaceful, better future for its people, it should not go ahead with the launch. She said it would be a direct threat to regional security and violate the North's obligations under existing Security Council resolutions.

Clinton made the comments on Wednesday after meeting Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba.

Gemba said Japan, a key US ally, would cooperate with Washington and the international community in framing its response.

Neither official elaborated on what exactly that response would be.