Government Statement on North Korea's Missile Launch
(Source: Office of the President of South Korea; issued July 5, 2006)
Today Senior Secretary Seo Joo-seok for Unification, National Security and Foreign Affairs stated the following:

Today the Government convened a meeting of the Standing Committee of the National Security Council (NSC) in the NSC conference room from 7:30 to 8:40 a.m. and discussed the assessment of and countermeasures against North Korea's test-firing of the missiles.

On July 5, North Korea is estimated to have fired into the East Sea:

-- one Taepodong-2 from a launch site in Taepo-dong of Hwadae-gun, Hambuk(province), at 5 a.m. and

-- several Scud- and Rodong-class missiles from a launch site in Gitdaeryeong of Anbyun-gun, Gangwon-do(province) at 03:32 a.m..

Based on the currently available information, the launch of the Taepodong-2 is estimated to have failed.

Since early May, the Government has been closely following a series of activities with regard to North Korea's missile test-firing. Pointing out the negative impact to follow a missile launch, the Government has warned repeatedly that a test-firing plan be withdrawn.

Despite our repeated warnings, North Korea proceeded with this launch, which is an unwise act to have a negative impact. It would not only deepen North Korea's international isolation by bolstering the stance of the hard-liners against the North in the international community but also impede the peace and stability of Northeast Asia by providing grounds for a buildup of armaments in the region as well as adversely affecting the attitude of the South Koreans toward the North in terms of inter-Korea relations. Thus, the Government expresses profound regrets.

North Korea should take responsibility for any situation that may arise from this launch. The Government sternly urges that North Korea discontinue such provocative acts, immediately return to the Six-Party Talks to resolve the issues through dialogue, and comply with the international effort for non-proliferation.

In this regard, the Korean Government will continue to closely coordinate with the nations involved for concrete countermeasures against North Korea's launching of missiles. (ends)

Statement By the White House Press Secretary
(Source: White House Press Office; issued July 4, 2006)
WASHINGTON --- On the afternoon of July 4 (Washington, DC time), the U.S. detected multiple missile launches from North Korea, including the Taepo Dong 2.

The United States strongly condemns these missile launches and North Korea's unwillingness to heed calls for restraint from the international community. We are consulting with international partners on next steps.

This provocative act violates a standing moratorium on missile tests to which the North had previously committed. Regardless of whether the series of launches occurred as North Korea planned, they nevertheless demonstrate North Korea's intent to intimidate other states by developing missiles of increasingly longer ranges.

We urge the North to refrain from further provocative acts, including further ballistic missile launches.

The September 2005 Joint Statement at the Fourth Round of the Six Party Talks offered the North Korean government and the North Korean people a better path. North Korea's actions only serve to further isolate North Korea and harm its people. While the United States remains committed to a peaceful diplomatic solution and to implementation of the agreed upon Joint Statement, the North Korean regime's actions and unwillingness to return to the talks appears to indicate that the North has not yet made the strategic decision to give up their nuclear programs as pledged to the other five parties. Accordingly, we will continue to take all necessary measures to protect ourselves and our allies.

We will be seeking to address this matter in discussions in New York and with our allies and regional partners.

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