Wednesday, June 21, 2006

No direct talks with North Korea over missiles

The Bush administration has declined the opportunity to be blackmailed into talking with the North Korean government as reported here. And the DPRK gets a little verbal slap from UN Ambassador Bolton, too:
Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said a missile threat wasn't the way to seek dialogue.

"You don't normally engage in conversations by threatening to launch intercontinental ballistic missiles, and it's not a way to produce a conversation because if you acquiesce in aberrant behavior, you simply encourage the repetition of it, which we're obviously not going to do," Bolton told reporters at U.N. headquarters in New York.

President Bush said North Korea faces further isolation from the international community if it test-fires the missile believed capable of reaching U.S. soil.

"It should make people nervous when non-transparent regimes who have announced they have nuclear warheads, fire missiles," Bush said at a meeting with European leaders in Vienna, Austria. "This is not the way you conduct business in the world."

The U.S. and Japan have said they could consider sanctions against North Korea if it goes ahead with the launch, and Washington was weighing responses that could include attempting to shoot down the missile.

A spokesman for former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung cited the missile crisis as the reason for canceling a trip next week to the North that could have offered a rare chance for talks to soothe tensions.
I wonder what Kim Jong-il's face-saving fallback position is?

Some photos of the DPRK missile launch site at GlobalSecurity here.

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