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Korea Should Heed Calls On Missile Tests

Korea Should Heed International Calls On Missile Tests

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today repeated his call for caution on the part of the authorities of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), pointing out that the broader regional context requires restraint.

As I have said recently, to be testing that kind of missile in a region like the Korean Peninsula, at a time when we have lots of difficult issues, and the six-party talks have stalled, it is not a wise thing to do to, and North Korea must listen to what the international community is telling it, Mr. Annan said in response to a question about Pyongyang’s missile tests.

On the issue of action by the Security Council, Mr. Annan said: I will leave the Council to make its own judgment.

Another reporter, in an apparent reference to an upcoming UN conference to review global action on small arms and light weapons, asked whether the UN trying to take away guns from Americans. Mr. Annan strongly refuted this myth: That thing couldn't be further from the truth.

When we talk about small arms and the damage they are doing around the world, we all need to look around us, the Secretary-General said. We are often concerned about weapons of mass destruction, and yet most of the killing taking place today, whether in Darfur or Congo or elsewhere is done by small arms.

He added that the UN, as an international organization of sovereign States concerned for the welfare of the people and working to protect them, has a legitimate role to play. The UN would want to do something about small arms, would want to bring some order into this area, he said.

We are not out to take guns away from Americans. The intention is to ensure that guns do not get into the wrong hands and are used for the civil wars that we see around the world.

Ends

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