North Korea Calls Missiles Tests "Successful", Vows to Launch More in the Future
North Korea has issued its first statement on its missile tests Wednesday, saying the launches were "successful" and promising more tests in the future. Pyongyang also says it will use force against any outside opposition to the missile launches. Thursday's Foreign Ministry statement says the launches were intended to boost North Korea's defense capabilities.
China said its top negotiator on the North Korean nuclear standoff Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei is going to Pyongyang next week, although it is not clear if he will discuss the missile tests.
Officials at South Korea's Defense Ministry said Thursday they believe North Korea is preparing further missile firings to follow Wednesday's barrage of seven rockets, which included one long-range missile. However, Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe says Pyongyang is not expected to test another of its long-range weapons in the immediate future.
President Bush has discussed the missile tests in telephone conversations with South Korean and Japanese leaders, and Mr. Bush and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi agreed to push for U.N. sanctions against North Korea.