DPRK warned on possible missile test
Updated: 2006-06-19 08:40 Japan warned North Korea on Sunday of "a harsh
response" from Tokyo and Washington if it went ahead with the launch of a
Amid reports that a launch was imminent, a Japanese official quoted by the
Sankei Shimbun daily said North Korea's leadership had told people to raise the
flag at 2:00 p.m. (0500 GMT) and monitor television for a "message to the
U.S. Ambassador to Japan Thomas Schieffer (R)
meets Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso at the start of talks on North
Korea's missile issue at the latter's office in Tokyo June 17, 2006.
The time came and went without any reports of a missile test. Japan's Jiji
Press news agency reported that Japanese Defense Agency officials had concluded
that a launch was not imminent, but that monitoring would continue.
A South Korean government official had cautioned against reading too much
into Pyongyang's instructions to its people.
The official, quoted by Yonhap news agency, noted Monday marked the 42nd
anniversary of the start of leader Kim Jong-il's career at the central committee
of the Workers' Party of Korea and that people were urged to watch TV on June 18
The Korea Central News Agency later issued a statement noting the
anniversary, but also lambasting the United States and Japan for their bellicose
attitude toward North Korea.
"The Korean army and people will do their best to increase the military
deterrent with sharp vigilance to cope with the moves of the U.S., which is
hell-bent on provocations for war of aggression on the DPRK," it said without
mentioning a missile.
The DPRK refers to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the North's
CBS News reported that South Korea's ambassador to the United States, Lee
Tae-sik, had told Korean correspondents in Washington that Pyongyang may have
fueled a missile already.
"Satellite photos confirmed scores of fuel tanks near the missile launch
pad," he said.
"We are not sure whether they had already completed fuelling or located (the
tanks) there to fuel it."