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Missle Launch Would Further Isolate North Korea From the World

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Here are remarks of Secretary Condoleezza Rice with Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos of Spain after their meeting. North Korea was a major topic

 

***************************************

 

QUESTION: Hello. Madame Secretary, how imminent do you think a North Korea test launch would be? Do you regard it as a test and not as some sort of hostile act? And what would the consequences be? What would the United States do if, in fact, they do go ahead with the test?

 

SECRETARY RICE: Well, Anne, we are working very closely with our allies. I, over the weekend in the last few days, have had several conversations with regional allies. Indeed, Foreign Minister Moratinos and I talked about the North Korean situation.

 

We regard it as abrogation of obligations that North Korea undertook in the moratorium that they signed onto in 1999, that they reiterated in 2002 that is clearly a part of the framework agreement that was signed in September of this past year between the six parties. And so it would be a very serious matter and indeed a provocative act should North Korea decide to launch that missile.

 

We will obviously consult on next steps, but I can assure everyone that it would be taken with utmost seriousness. I think it is already taken with utmost seriousness by regional states and by the world because it would once again show North Korea determined to deepen its isolation, determined not to take a path that is a path of compromise and a path of peace, but rather instead to once again saber-rattle. And so from our point of view it would be a very serious matter indeed.

 

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Here are remarks of Japan's Deputy Press Secretary Tomohiko Taniguchi about the North Korea missle test

 

*******************************

 

Q: I would like to ask you a question about the North Korean missile. Does Japan suggest that its tough action against North Korea will depend at all on the trajectory of the missile launch, or is it irrespective of the trajectory?

 

Mr. Taniguchi: Foreign Minister Aso gave remarks to the members of the Japanese press corps when he was asked what the Japanese Government would be doing in response to the launch. He said that the Japanese Government, together with the United States (US) Government, is going to bring this issue immediately to the United Nations (UN) Security Council.

 

Already a Japanese legislation has been enacted at the last Diet session that would enable the Japanese Government to exercise further means to pressure North Korea. Foreign Minister Aso also said that the Japanese Government is going to use this newly introduced law to further pressure North Korea by using a variety of means. These are the points that Foreign Minister Aso has already mentioned.

 

Q: Just to follow-up, has Foreign Minister Aso or any other minister said that this action will be taken irrespective of whether or not the missile, if it is launched, passes over Japan? Simply the act of launch of the missile would provoke an action?

 

Mr. Taniguchi: He did not go into any details of that sort. When you say irrespective of the launch, you are suggesting perhaps that the North Korean government may have a couple of different objectives with respect to the launch. However, I cannot say anything about it because it has not happened. When it happens, there may be other elements to be taken into consideration. We have got to carefully see what the situation is going to look like, and by pulling together all the elements worthy of consideration, we will be coming up with a concrete decision about what to do.

 

Q: The Republic of Korea (ROK) Government seems to make the impression that this might not be a missile launch, or they are trying to make a distinction between a missile launch and a satellite rocket launch. Is there any difference whether it is a satellite rocket launch or a missile launch?

 

Mr. Taniguchi: Well it will surely involve technical details. I am not an expert on that so you should ask someone who has got a proper knowledge about that. I would say that immediately after the launch, given the technicalities and the expertise shared by the Japanese, US and ROK Governments, it would be made clear what sort of intention the North Korean government has had.

 

Q: I understand that the Japanese Government has been sending warnings to North Korea through various diplomatic channels. As of yesterday, I believe there has been no response from them. Is that still the case?

 

Mr. Taniguchi: There has been no response.

 

Q: No response back from the North Koreans?

 

Mr. Taniguchi: No response yet.

 

Q: There was an article in one of the ROK's dailies today suggesting that some of the technology used in the electronic parts for the Taepodong-2 actually came from Japan. Is the Japanese Government aware of those suggestions?

 

Mr. Taniguchi: Me, personally, I do not know anything about it. I have not read the article either.

 

Q: Just further elaboration, various countries are continually testing missiles of various kinds. So Japan's objection to this potential missile is not solely based on the possibility of it crossing over Japanese territory. Is that the correct characterization, that it is based on the act of launch?

 

Mr. Taniguchi: The opposition of the Japanese Government toward any attempt of a missile launch has been firmly backed by the pledge made between the Japanese and North Korean governments when the leaders of the two nations met in September 2001. This was clearly stated in the so-called Pyongyang Declaration; the moratorium for the missile test launch was clearly stated there. So by launching a missile, the North Korean government is going to violate both the spirit and text of the Pyongyang Declaration.

 

I should also add that the North Korean government has been widely known to be a proliferator of technologies associated with missiles. So it is going to pose a danger, of course not only to Japan but also to the wider world. For these two reasons, any attempt to launch missiles has to be powerfully condemned not only by the Japanese Government but also by the international community as well.

 

Q: If the missile accidentally lands in Japan or somewhere near Japan, would this be perceived as an attack by North Korea?

 

Mr. Taniguchi: A judgment of that sort will depend on many subtle differences and elements. The decision has to be made as quickly as possible, that is the bottom line. But in order for the Japanese Government to reach that decision, it is also the case that you have got to take into consideration many elements. But that said, I should say that even if it is a terrible accident, the North Korean government is going to shoulder all the responsibility and it goes without saying that it has got to apologize most sincerely to the people and for the property that may be damaged by the accidental occurrence.

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Guest human_*

What countries must understand is that even though Secretary Rice is at State, IT IS STILL BUSH that HAS the LAST WORD.

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Here are remarks of Secretary Condoleezza Rice with Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos of Spain after their meeting. North Korea was a major topic

 

***************************************

 

QUESTION: Hello. Madame Secretary, how imminent do you think a North Korea test launch would be? Do you regard it as a test and not as some sort of hostile act? And what would the consequences be? What would the United States do if, in fact, they do go ahead with the test?

 

SECRETARY RICE: Well, Anne, we are working very closely with our allies. I, over the weekend in the last few days, have had several conversations with regional allies. Indeed, Foreign Minister Moratinos and I talked about the North Korean situation.

 

We regard it as abrogation of obligations that North Korea undertook in the moratorium that they signed onto in 1999, that they reiterated in 2002 that is clearly a part of the framework agreement that was signed in September of this past year between the six parties. And so it would be a very serious matter and indeed a provocative act should North Korea decide to launch that missile.

 

We will obviously consult on next steps, but I can assure everyone that it would be taken with utmost seriousness. I think it is already taken with utmost seriousness by regional states and by the world because it would once again show North Korea determined to deepen its isolation, determined not to take a path that is a path of compromise and a path of peace, but rather instead to once again saber-rattle. And so from our point of view it would be a very serious matter indeed.

 

*******************************

 

Here are remarks of Japan's Deputy Press Secretary Tomohiko Taniguchi about the North Korea missle test

 

*******************************

 

Q: I would like to ask you a question about the North Korean missile. Does Japan suggest that its tough action against North Korea will depend at all on the trajectory of the missile launch, or is it irrespective of the trajectory?

 

Mr. Taniguchi: Foreign Minister Aso gave remarks to the members of the Japanese press corps when he was asked what the Japanese Government would be doing in response to the launch. He said that the Japanese Government, together with the United States (US) Government, is going to bring this issue immediately to the United Nations (UN) Security Council.

 

Already a Japanese legislation has been enacted at the last Diet session that would enable the Japanese Government to exercise further means to pressure North Korea. Foreign Minister Aso also said that the Japanese Government is going to use this newly introduced law to further pressure North Korea by using a variety of means. These are the points that Foreign Minister Aso has already mentioned.

 

Q: Just to follow-up, has Foreign Minister Aso or any other minister said that this action will be taken irrespective of whether or not the missile, if it is launched, passes over Japan? Simply the act of launch of the missile would provoke an action?

 

Mr. Taniguchi: He did not go into any details of that sort. When you say irrespective of the launch, you are suggesting perhaps that the North Korean government may have a couple of different objectives with respect to the launch. However, I cannot say anything about it because it has not happened. When it happens, there may be other elements to be taken into consideration. We have got to carefully see what the situation is going to look like, and by pulling together all the elements worthy of consideration, we will be coming up with a concrete decision about what to do.

 

Q: The Republic of Korea (ROK) Government seems to make the impression that this might not be a missile launch, or they are trying to make a distinction between a missile launch and a satellite rocket launch. Is there any difference whether it is a satellite rocket launch or a missile launch?

 

Mr. Taniguchi: Well it will surely involve technical details. I am not an expert on that so you should ask someone who has got a proper knowledge about that. I would say that immediately after the launch, given the technicalities and the expertise shared by the Japanese, US and ROK Governments, it would be made clear what sort of intention the North Korean government has had.

 

Q: I understand that the Japanese Government has been sending warnings to North Korea through various diplomatic channels. As of yesterday, I believe there has been no response from them. Is that still the case?

 

Mr. Taniguchi: There has been no response.

 

Q: No response back from the North Koreans?

 

Mr. Taniguchi: No response yet.

 

Q: There was an article in one of the ROK's dailies today suggesting that some of the technology used in the electronic parts for the Taepodong-2 actually came from Japan. Is the Japanese Government aware of those suggestions?

 

Mr. Taniguchi: Me, personally, I do not know anything about it. I have not read the article either.

 

Q: Just further elaboration, various countries are continually testing missiles of various kinds. So Japan's objection to this potential missile is not solely based on the possibility of it crossing over Japanese territory. Is that the correct characterization, that it is based on the act of launch?

 

Mr. Taniguchi: The opposition of the Japanese Government toward any attempt of a missile launch has been firmly backed by the pledge made between the Japanese and North Korean governments when the leaders of the two nations met in September 2001. This was clearly stated in the so-called Pyongyang Declaration; the moratorium for the missile test launch was clearly stated there. So by launching a missile, the North Korean government is going to violate both the spirit and text of the Pyongyang Declaration.

 

I should also add that the North Korean government has been widely known to be a proliferator of technologies associated with missiles. So it is going to pose a danger, of course not only to Japan but also to the wider world. For these two reasons, any attempt to launch missiles has to be powerfully condemned not only by the Japanese Government but also by the international community as well.

 

Q: If the missile accidentally lands in Japan or somewhere near Japan, would this be perceived as an attack by North Korea?

 

Mr. Taniguchi: A judgment of that sort will depend on many subtle differences and elements. The decision has to be made as quickly as possible, that is the bottom line. But in order for the Japanese Government to reach that decision, it is also the case that you have got to take into consideration many elements. But that said, I should say that even if it is a terrible accident, the North Korean government is going to shoulder all the responsibility and it goes without saying that it has got to apologize most sincerely to the people and for the property that may be damaged by the accidental occurrence.

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Did you see the comments from White House Press Secretary Tony Snow and National Security Advisor Steve Hadley. Korea and Iran think they can take advantage of the U.S. because the President's poll numbers are low. But, what they fail to realize that it in no way effects his power as Commander and Chief of the most powerful military in the world. Japan is responding now. If China gives the nod Korea might be

falling down a slippery slope of disaster.

 

****************************************

 

Q Can you elaborate a little bit more of what kinds of consequences North Korea might face if they do test fire this missile?

 

MR. SNOW: No. I'll restate what I've been saying the last few days, which is it's our hope that there is no missile firing. North Korea made a commitment back in 1999 at a summit with the Japanese that they wouldn't do it, and certainly there are many options and we are simply not going to tip our hand as to what the possible response should be.

 

The other thing to keep in mind is it's not us and North Korea. Anything that happens is going to be part of sort of joint operations, if you will, or joint negotiations with the other five nations, or the other four nations that are involved with us in dealing with North Korea in the six-party talks. So we don't want to be drawn into any perception that somehow it's the United States responding solely and unilaterally to anything the North Koreans may do.

 

Q But, obviously, you bring up the notion of consequences to try and give them, you know, a nudge away from taking this action. So how does that really have teeth if you don't talk about what that means?

 

MR. SNOW: Doesn't mean they don't hear it, just means you don't.

 

Q How are they hearing it, then?

 

MR. HADLEY: It's interesting, the Japanese have indicated publicly that one of the things they would consider doing is sponsoring a U.N. Security Council resolution. So it underscores Tony's point that there are a lot of actors in this process; a lot of folks are sending messages to the North Koreans this would be a bad idea, they shouldn't do it. And a lot of these countries are going to have ideas about what we do should North Korea ignore the advice of the international community and go forward with this launch.

 

Q Have they, in fact, fueled this missile? What do we know about what they have done?

 

MR. HADLEY: It's hard to tell. They seem to be moving forward towards a launch, but the intelligence is not conclusive at this point.

 

Q Do you think they're trying to take attention away from the U.S. efforts to contain the Iran nuclear program? What's your interpretation of their motivation here?

 

MR. HADLEY: It's hard to interpret their motives. All you can do is look at the history, and we've seen these kinds of things before in the past. There tends to be a desire to create a sense of crisis; they seem to think that's something that works for them. And they've done these kinds of things to get attention before. They did a missile launch in 1998.

 

And what we've tried to convince them is that the kind of attention they will get is not attention that will be constructive towards getting back to the six-party talks, getting implementation of the September agreement, and really not conducive to the long-term interests of North Korea or its people.

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Guest Jeff_*

Did you read this report about Russia getting tough with North Korea. Kim Jong-il will bow down to pressure.

 

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Russia's Foreign Ministry Thursday summoned North Korea's ambassador over reports that its secretive neighbour is planning to launch a ballistic missile.

 

Washington has warned Pyongyang not to test fire the missile, saying it would be a clear threat to international peace but Russia, which shares a short border with the communist state, has so far made no made any official comments.

 

"It was stressed that any steps that could negatively impact regional stability and complicate the quest for a way to settle the nuclear problem on the Korean peninsula were undesirable," the ministry said in a statement.

 

The White House has said North Korea is far along in its preparations for the launch, although South Korea's Yonhap news agency has reported that Pyongyang wanted talks over the crisis.

 

South Korea and Japan are also concerned about the potential launch, which has caused concerns in a region already worried by Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions.

 

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov, who is close to President Vladimir Putin, said earlier on Thursday he knew nothing about the reported launch plans.

 

"We have no sure date on North Korean plans to launch a ballistic missile," he was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying, adding that Pyongyang was not part of arms control pacts that would oblige it to tell other countries.

 

"Therefore, some states are concerned by the possible launch. I understand their concerns."

 

Source: Reuters

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True, True Luke, and let's not forget that Bush does NOT have to worry about being re-elected.

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Did you see the comments from White House Press Secretary Tony Snow and National Security Advisor Steve Hadley. Korea and Iran think they can take advantage of the U.S. because the President's poll numbers are low. But, what they fail to realize that it in no way effects his power as Commander and Chief of the most powerful military in the world. Japan is responding now. If China gives the nod Korea might be

falling down a slippery slope of disaster.

 

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