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out the negative impact to follow a missile launch, the Government has warned repeatedly that a test-firing plan be withdrawn.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)