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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 4, 2006

Statement on North Korea Missile Launches

On the afternoon of July 4 (Washington, DC time), the U.S. detected multiple missile launches from North Korea, including the Taepo Dong 2. The United States strongly condemns these missile launches and North Korea's unwillingness to heed calls for restraint from the international community. We are consulting with international partners on next steps. This provocative act violates a standing moratorium on missile tests to which the North had previously committed. Regardless of whether the series of launches occurred as North Korea planned, they nevertheless demonstrate North Korea's intent to intimidate other states by developing missiles of increasingly longer ranges. We urge the North to refrain from further provocative acts, including further ballistic missile launches.

The September 2005 Joint Statement at the Fourth Round of the Six Party Talks offered the North Korean government and the North Korean people a better path. North Korea's actions only serve to further isolate North Korea and harm its people. While the United States remains committed to a peaceful diplomatic solution and to implementation of the agreed upon Joint Statement, the North Korean regime's actions and unwillingness to return to the talks appears to indicate that the North has not yet made the strategic decision to give up their nuclear programs as pledged to the other five parties. Accordingly, we will continue to take all necessary measures to protect ourselves and our allies.

We will be seeking to address this matter in discussions in New York and with our allies and regional partners.

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