The North Korean government on July 4 and 5 launched seven ballistic missiles, including one long-range Taepodong-2 missile that landed in the Sea of Japan. The international community has spoken forcefully against North Korea's provocative launching of multiple missiles.
The United Nations Security Council, reflecting this grave international concern, is considering a Japanese request for a resolution condemning North Korea's actions. The U.S. has voiced its strong support for this step. As U.S. Ambassador to the UN Bolton stated, "the thrust of what we're trying to do is identifying the risk posed in the region and in the wider world about a North Korea with ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads. And I think it's important that people see the breadth of concern and opposition to what the North Koreans have done."
Suh Choo-Suk, a security advisor to South Korean president Roh Moo-hyun (NO MOO HYUHN), said "North Korea has reinforced a hard-line stance against itself in the international community and deepened isolation." Shinzo Abe, the Japanese chief cabinet secretary, said the North Korean missile launches were "regrettable from the standpoint of Japan's security, the stability of international society, and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction."
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says the U.S. "can't really judge the motivations of the North Korean regime." But, says Ms. Rice, there are "expressions from countries all over the world of concern about this provocation that the North Koreans have engaged in."
President George W. Bush says that the missile firings have further isolated the North Korean regime:
(ACT :19 - DALET: POLICY/ACTUALITIES) "And that's sad for the people of North Korea. I am deeply concerned about the people of North Korea. I would hope that the government would agree to verifiably abandon its weapons programs. I would hope that there would be a better opportunity. . . .for that government and its people to move forward." (END ACT)
President Bush says, "The best way to solve this problem is diplomatically. We are working with our partners to make sure we speak with one voice."
Anncr: That was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government. If you have a comment, please write to Editorials, V-O-A, Washington, D-C, 20237, U-S-A. You may also comment -- and view all our current editorials -- at the V-O-A Editorials home page: www-dot-voanews-dot-com-slash-editorials.