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Peters condemns North Korean missile tests

Rt Hon Winston Peters
Minister of Foreign Affairs


5 July 2006
Media statement

Peters condemns North Korean missile tests

Foreign Minister Winston Peters today condemned North Korea's missile tests, saying it showed wanton disregard for the warnings issued by the international community and that its actions elevate concerns that it has chosen a path towards denunciation as a rogue state.

North Korea is understood to have fired up to six missiles this morning – one long range Taepodong missile that reportedly failed shortly after firing, and several short-range missiles that landed in the Sea of Japan.

"North Korea was advised clearly that missile testing would be seen as a provocative step. These tests fuel concern about North Korea's behaviour, adding to ongoing worry about its nuclear programmes and dismay that it has not rejoined the Six Party Talks,” Mr Peters said.

“New Zealand's Ambassador conveyed our concerns in plain language when she met with President Kim Yong Nam recently.

"North Korea is paranoid about its security, but this action - against the sound advice of its neighbours and the wider international community - can only do further harm to its already tarnished reputation and may well lead to discussion in the United Nations Security Council.

"I very much hope North Korea will step back now from taking any more rash steps. Pyongyang should go back to the Six Party Talks as that is the only vehicle that can provide step-by-step progress towards an improved security situation, the removal of its nuclear weapons programmes and unlock desperately needed development assistance funding," Mr Peters said.


ENDS

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