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    » 07/06/2006, 00.00

    NORTH KOREA – SOUTH KOREA

    North Korea ready to launch new missiles



    This was announced by the Foreign Affairs Minister of Pyongyang. The South Korean Defence Minister said there were about three or four short and medium-range missiles. The UN Security Council is divided: it had not yet adopted a shared approach to tackling the crisis. Protest rallies were held in Tokyo and Seoul.

    Seoul (AsiaNews) – North Korea still has three or four missiles prepared for launching and a Foreign Affairs statement said the country is ready for further military tests. The statement from Pyongyang confirmed yesterday's claims by Yoon Kwang-ung, the South Korean Defence Minister.

    According to the international press, the new missiles are of short and medium range and their launch has been announced by North Korea. "Our armed forces will go ahead with the missile test launches," said the Foreign Affairs statement. The North Korean government has already banned navigation alongside some of its coastal areas on 11 July.

    During the night between 4 and 5 July, Pyongyang carried out seven missile tests and, although these did not leave any damage in their wake, they provoked a wave of protests from the international community. The launches were carried out despite threats from the United States and Japan, but they also ignored calls from China and Russia, traditional allies of the Communist regime.

    The issue – currently being debated at the United Nations Security Council – may be resolved at the negotiating table of the six-party talks for nuclear disarmament, which Pyongyang dropped out of months ago. Another option may be a private meeting between the United States and North Korea, which Washington is disinclined to go for.

    The US President, George W. Bush, after defining the launch of seven missiles as "a provocation to the international community", said such recourse to arms "did not lessen America's desire to resolve the problem, not through direct and bilateral contacts with North Korea but at the six-party talks: there, the North Korean government could come together with the community of Nations and prove it wants to create a positive future for its people. It is a choice they must make."

    However the hoped-for meeting of the UN does not appear to be close at hand: Beijing and Moscow have declared themselves against "immediate and hard sanctions" called for by the United States and Japan, and they are prepared to present a proposal of a "three-way diplomatic channel" in a bid to calm the waters.

    Meanwhile, violent protest rallies against Pyongyang took place yesterday in the streets of Tokyo and Seoul.

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    See also

    11/07/2006 SOUTH KOREA – NORTH KOREA – JAPAN
    China submits bid to UN to resolve crisis minus sanctions against Pyongyang

    Japan's proposal has been blocked; it paved the way for sanctions, opposed by Beijing, Seoul and Moscow. The South Korean government has accused Japan of wanting to intensify the crisis through "rhetoric based on provocation". Chinese diplomats are in the North Korean capital.



    04/10/2006 SOUTH KOREA – NORTH KOREA
    Tension grows over Pyongyang's nuclear test announcement

    Seoul, the United States and Japan have taken unequivocal stands while Beijing urges everyone to keep calm.



    27/06/2006 SOUTH KOREA – NORTH KOREA
    Seoul to revoke aid to North if missile crisis breaks out

    The South Korean government has no intention of ignoring Pyongyang's threats, while Washington is installing Patriot anti-aircraft missiles in its Japanese bases. Seoul's Foreign Affairs Minister is in China to seek a joint diplomatic solution.



    07/04/2009 JAPAN – KOREA
    Tokyo wants strong UN response to N Korea missile
    The Japanese government is in favour of “a strong and unified message” from the United Nations Security Council. China and Russia are against a binding resolution against the North Korean regime. Pyongyang is celebrating the successful launch also attended by Kim Jong-il. Trade between North Korea and China resumes.

    14/10/2006 NORTH KOREA – UNITED STATES
    Washington: "Traces of radioactivity in Korean air"

    The discovery was announced by anonymous sources of the US government. A UN vote on what sanctions to impose on Pyongyang should be taken today: Beijing and Seoul are pushing for a diplomatic approach.





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