North Korea's Ambassador to the UK has been summoned to the Foreign Office as the Government strongly condemned the "provocative" launch of a satellite.
The senior civil servant at the Foreign Office, permanent under-secretary Simon Fraser, told Hyon Hak Bong that the launch, using ballistic missile technology, threatened stability in the region.
A Foreign Office spokesman said the money used for the project could have been better spent on bringing "food and modernisation" to the people of North Korea.
The issue was also raised in the House of Lords, where Foreign Office Minister Baroness Warsi said: "This provocative act will only serve to increase regional tensions and undermine prospects for peace in the peninsula."
The event has been viewed as a test that takes the country one step closer to being able to launch missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads over the Pacific.
A Foreign Office spokesman said: "Simon Fraser made clear to the Ambassador the UK's condemnation of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's actions.
"He stressed that the international community was united in their assessment that this launch, using ballistic missile technology, was a breach of UN Security Council Resolution 1874 and that it threatened regional stability.
"He urged the DPRK to avoid further provocative action and take urgent steps to re-engage constructively with the international community.
"Finally he pointed out that, instead of expecting international aid and assistance, the DPRK could have spent the money used on this launch to bring food and modernisation to its people."