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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 July 2006, 20:57 GMT 21:57 UK
In quotes: N Korea missile reaction
The news that North Korea has test-fired a number of missiles, including one long-range Taepodong-2 weapon, has prompted strong reaction. Here is a selection of comments from key figures.

GEORGE W BUSH, US PRESIDENT

What these firing of the rockets have done is they've isolated themselves further and that's sad for the people of North Korea.

It's my view that the best way to solve this problem diplomatically is for there to be more than one nation speaking to North Korea, more than America voicing our opinions, and therefore the five of us - Russia, South Korea, Japan, China and the United States - spoke with one voice about the rocket launches.

And therefore we will work together to continue to remind the leader of North Korea that there is a better way forward for his people.

SUH CHOO-SUK, SOUTH KOREAN SENIOR SECURITY SECRETARY

By going ahead with the launch despite warnings, North Korea has reinforced a hardline stance against itself in the international community and deepened its isolation.

North Korea must stop provocative activity, immediately return to six-party talks and join international efforts for nuclear non-proliferation... North Korea should be held responsible for all the consequences.

SHINZO ABE, JAPANESE CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY

North Korea has gone ahead with the launch despite international protest. That is regrettable from the standpoint of Japan's security, the stability of international society, and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

LIU JIANCHAO, CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN

We are seriously concerned about the events that have occurred. We hope that all sides will maintain calm and restraint.

MIKHAIL KAMYNIN, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY

Such a provocative action significantly complicates the situation around Korea's nuclear programme. We can say that the missile launches obviously run counter to moves to build trust in the region.

MARGARET BECKETT, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY

These tests are provocative, and only serve to raise tensions in the region. We strongly urge the government of DPRK [Democratic Peoples Public of Korea] to adhere to its commitment to a moratorium on missile testing.

MARTIN JAEGER, GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN

The government considers this to be an irresponsible provocation, which we regret very deeply and which fills us with concern.

NATO

[This] poses a serious threat to the region and the international community at large.

PETER MacCAY, CANADIAN FOREIGN MINISTER

These missile launches represent a major threat to peace and stability in North-East Asia and seriously undermine global efforts at halting the development and spread of the means of delivery for weapons of mass destruction.

Such actions can only diminish North Korea's security, not enhance it.

JOHN HOWARD, AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER

North Korea is in total breach of international obligations in doing this and I hope that North Korea feels isolated and feels the condemnation not only of Australia, the United States and Japan, but also of China, and naturally of South Korea.

This development is very provocative and runs completely counter to the interests of North Korea and the interests of the whole region... Nobody wants this kind of blow-up on the Korean Peninsula. (Speaking to ABC Radio)

HELEN CLARK, NEW ZEALAND PRIME MINISTER

This is completely unacceptable behaviour and does really send it [N Korea] down the road of being condemned as a rogue state. Now, I understand that as we speak urgent consultations have been going on among Security Council members.

WILLIAM LARA, VENEZUELAN INFORMATION MINISTER

I don't share [the idea] that a group of privileged countries has the right to develop missile technology and the rest of humanity is prohibited.

MASSIMO D'ALEMA, ITALIAN FOREIGN MINISTER

Pyongyang's move is certain to complicate the six-way negotiations aimed at finding an agreed solution to the North Korean nuclear question.

KAREK DE GUCHT, BELGIAN FOREIGN MINISTER

The combination of nuclear arms capabilities which North Korea claims to possess and the testing of medium- and long-range missiles forms a serious threat to international peace and security.

FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTRY STATEMENT

France condemns the missile tests carried out by North Korea. It shares the concerns sparked by these developments, especially among North Korea's neighbours. These concerns are particularly linked to fears that such missiles could carry weapons of mass destruction.

HASSAN WIRAJUDA, INDONESIAN FOREIGN MINISTER

The Indonesian government regrets the missile test launches. They will only add to tensions on the Korean Peninsula.




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