Japan P.M. calls for restraint on N. Korea

July 19, 2006 at 11:46 PM
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TOKYO, July 19 (UPI) -- Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi says Tokyo will not rush to impose more sanctions on North Korea over Pyongyang's nuclear program.

"I think it would be better for us to wait and see" how seriously North Korea responds to the United Nations Security Council resolution and the Group of Eight summit statement against the North's recent missile launches, Koizumi told reporters.

Koizumi again urged North Korea to return to six-nation nuclear talks and to make efforts to become a member of the international community, the Kyodo News Service reports.

North Korea on July 4 tested a long-range missile believed capable of reaching the United States, along with six other short- and medium-range missiles. The move prompted the Security Council to pass a resolution barring U.N. member countries from missile-related dealings with the North.

Also Wednesday, South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun condemned North Korea for potentially sparking an arms race, but warned other countries that provocative responses could increase regional tensions.

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