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US concerned over reports of possible DPRK missile tests
Updated: 2004-09-24 13:05

US Secretary of State Colin Powell voiced on Thursday his concern over reports that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is probably preparing for new missile tests.

Speaking to reporters at the Foreign Press Center in New York, Powell said it "would be very unfortunate if the North Koreans were to do something like this and break out of the moratorium that they have been following for a number of years."

South Korean and Japanese media reported earlier that South Korean, Japanese and US authorities had detected activities relating to missile tests in the DPRK.

"I have seen some indications of activity but I can't be sure what it means," said Powell, who is in New York attending the UN General Assembly.

But he said any missile test would not change US policy on the DPRK's nuclear issue and the six-party talks aiming to resolve it.The talks involve Japan, China, Russia, South Korea, the DPRK and the United States.

"We would stay very firmly embedded in the six-party framework and we would not be intimidated with respect to policy," he said.

Pyongyang imposed a moratorium on missile tests in September 1999 and the decision was extended in May 2001 until 2003.

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