North Korea is threatening to launch more missiles, defending its tests as a “legal right” to “self defence”. Pyongyang has now confirmed that it tested seven rockets yesterday. It described them as a success, despite one long-range weapon falling into the sea a minute after being fired. The UN Security Council is considering a draft resolution in response to the tests. US President George W Bush is rallying support. “I view this as an opportunity to remind the international community that we must work together to continue to work hard to convince the North Korean leader to give up any weapons programmes. They have agreed to do that in the past and we will hold them to account,” he said.
Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is joining the US call for sanctions against Pyongyang. The Japanese are watching developments closely. “It’s scary. We don’t know whether it will hit Tokyo or not. But I hear some people living on Sado Island saw it, so it is scary,” said one woman. Another man added: “I don’t think North Korea can do much harm if it really decides to invade. I don’t think North Korea can afford to launch many missiles economically.” Major powers are not united on the issue. China and Russia do not support sanctions, while South Korea wants a policy of engagement with its communist neighbour.