July 05, 2006

Paper Bullet


From CNN: U.S.: World united against N. Korean missile threat.

Japan on Wednesday called for "swift, strong" U.N. action in response to North Korea's missile tests, while U.S. officials cited "unprecedented" international unity on the issue.

U.S. and Australian officials warned that more missiles may soon be launched.

United Nations Security Council members discussed a draft resolution proposed by Japan -- and backed by the United States and Britain -- that demands countries cut off any money or materials that could be used for North Korea's missile program, diplomats said.

The resolution, a copy of which was obtained by CNN, also would condemn the missile tests and demand that Pyongyang cease any missile activity and return to six-party talks on the issue, according to U.N. diplomats.

After the emergency Security Council meeting on Wednesday morning, U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said, "No member defended what the North Koreans had done."

Japan's ambassador, Kenzo Oshima, said, "We hope the response from the council will be swift, strong and resolute."

Japan imposed travel and other restrictions on North Korea in the wake of the test-firings and while Oshima would not be drawn on whether broader U.N. sanctions would emerge, he called for any resolution to "have clear and strong condemnation of the missile launches".

Russia's ambassador, however, said his country didn't think sanctions were forthcoming.

"In the discussion today, I didn't hear the word 'sanctions' and I frankly do not expect that anybody would be proposing any sanctions," Vitali Churkin said. ...

The missile causing the most concern, the Taepodong-2, which some analysts say is capable of hitting the Western United States, was fired in the morning. It failed after about 40 seconds and landed in the sea about 200 miles (321 kilometers) west of Japan, U.S. officials said.

The short-range missiles also all landed in the Sea of Japan.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said countries around the world have expressed concern "about this provocation."

"Whatever [the North Koreans] thought they were doing, they have gotten a very strong reaction from the international community," Rice said.

UPDATE -- July 6: From FoxNews: Bush: U.S. Wants Diplomatic Solution for North Korea Standoff.

President Bush said Thursday that the United States is seeking a diplomatic solution to the nuclear standoff with North Korea, but cautioned that diplomacy will take time.

Bush said he was pleased that leaders of China, South Korea, Japan and Russia, in telephone calls during the past few days, agreed that the reclusive communist regime should not be allowed to possess nuclear weapons. ...

At the United Nations, there were differences over a Japanese-backed draft resolution to sanction North Korea. U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said the measure had "broad and deep support," but Russia's deputy U.N. ambassador told The Associated Press that Moscow would not back sanctions, as the resolution calls for.

Instead, Russia wants the council to pass a nonbinding presidential statement with the goal of getting North Korea back into six-party talks on its nuclear program.

Posted by Forkum at July 5, 2006 07:19 PM