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Search Tags: North Korea
The military chiefs of Japan and the United States on Friday reaffirmed their commitment to cooperate closely on defense measures in order to deal with threats of missile and nuclear tests from North Korea.
The United States is in discussions with close ally Japan about expanding a missile defense system in Asia, the top U.S. general said Thursday.
The hunt for thousands of fallen American troops missing from a conflict fought six decades ago, is about to resume in North Korea as tensions ease between the wartime enemies.
North Korea and Iran pose serious nuclear and missile proliferation concerns for the United States and other nations and will be major considerations in the U.S ballistic missile defense review, Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III told the Senate Armed Services Committee. "The risks and dangers from missile proliferation are growing problems," Lynn said. "The president has made clear that we will move forward with missile defenses. They're affordable, proven and responsive to the threat." Lynn joined other defense leaders in describing the ballistic missile threat and reviews of missile defense policy and planning under way to address current as well as long-term security challenges.
North Korea accused Washington of seeking to "provoke a second Korean War" as the regime prepared to hold maritime military exercises off the eastern coast. The Associated Press reports U.S. and regional authorities were watching closely for signs that North Korea might fire short- or mid-range missiles during the June 25 to July 10 timeframe cited in a no-sail ban for military drills sent to Japan's Coast Guard.
North Korea had warned previously it would fire a long-range missile as a response to U.N. Security Council condemnation of an April rocket launch seen as a cover for its ballistic missile technology.
An underground nuclear test last month drew more Security Council action: a resolution seeking to clamp down on North Korea's trading of banned arms and weapons-related material by requiring U.N. member states to request inspections of ships carrying suspected cargo.
North Korea is hoping to cozy up to the west. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson said on CNN yesterday, "the North Koreans are sending good signals, that they're ready to talk directly to the United States." He hosted a North Korean delegation yesterday. He said "they felt that the President Clinton visit was good, that it helped thaw relations, and make them easier." But counter-proliferation's experts say there will be nothing easy about it unless North Korea gives up its nuclear ambitions.
North Korea nuclear test on Monday will mean consequences for the communist nation. It's already under international sanctions because of a previous missile launch, a nuclear test and suspected human rights violations. U.N. Security Council resolution 1718 of October 2006 imposed arms and financial sanctions on North Korea after it conducted its first nuclear test three months after firing its longest-range Taepodong-2 ballistic missile. It also bans sale of luxury goods to the North.