The U.N. Security Council is strongly condemning four North Korean ballistic missile launches in July and August, calling them "grave violations" of a ban on all ballistic missile activity.

A press statement approved by all 15 members Friday night deplored the fact that the North's ballistic missile activities are contributing to its development of nuclear weapon delivery systems and increasing tensions.

The council expressed "serious concern" that North Korea carried out the launches after six ballistic missile firings between April and June "in flagrant disregard" of its repeated statements to halt such launches as well as nuclear tests which violate council resolutions.

It urged member states to redouble efforts to implement sanctions against Pyongyang, including the latest and toughest measures imposed by the council in March.