CHINA / National

Hu urges restraint on missile test crisis
(China Daily)
Updated: 2006-07-07 05:59

China is committed to maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and opposed to any actions that might aggravate the situation, President Hu Jintao said yesterday.

U.S. President George W. Bush (R) and first lady Laura Bush (2nd L) gather on the South Portico of the White House with China's President Hu Jintao (2nd R) and his wife Liu Yongqing at a welcoming ceremony in Washington, April 20, 2006. [Reuters]

Hu made the remarks when talking to his US counterpart George W. Bush about Pyongyang's launch of several missiles on Wednesday.

In the telephone conversation, Bush said that the United States was concerned about the current situation on the Korean Peninsula.

Washington still adheres to the commitment of resolving the Korean Peninsula issue by diplomatic means, Bush was quoted as saying in a statement from China's Foreign Ministry.

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) acknowledged for the first time yesterday that it had launched the missiles. It vowed to conduct more tests and threatened to use force if the international community tried to stop it.

"We will go on with missile launch exercises as part of efforts to bolster deterrence for self-defence in the future, too," DPRK's official KCNA news agency quoted a foreign ministry spokesman as saying.

"The DPRK will have no option but to take stronger physical actions of other forms should any other country dare take issue with the exercises and put pressure upon it."

The DPRK reportedly launched at least six missiles from its east coast early on Wednesday, including a long-range Taepodong-2, which some experts said could hit Alaska.

The Republic of Korea (ROK) press reported yesterday that the DPRK had three or four short- or medium-range missiles on launch pads ready for firing.

US Undersecretary of State R. Nicholas Burns told CNN yesterday that his country would work to muster international pressure on the DPRK to "cease and desist" such actions.
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