U.S., Allies Urge North Korea Against Missile Tests

Bush administration calls on Europe to show "boldness" in WTO trade talks

By Stephen Kaufman
Washington File White House Correspondent

Washington - North Korea's interlocutors in the Six-Party Talks - the United States, China, Russia, Japan and South Korea - are calling upon Pyongyang to respect its own 1999 voluntary moratorium and refrain from testing a long-range ballistic missile.

National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley told reporters June 22 that the five countries are "trying to deal with a broader set of issues with North Korea" through the talks and "a test would obviously be disruptive."

Hadley was speaking in Budapest, Hungary, where President Bush has been commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution.

"[T]he solution is for North Korea to decide to respect its own moratorium, not to test this missile, come back to the Six-Party Talks, and let's talk about how to implement the agreement for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula that was reached last September," he said.

"That is the message the Chinese, Japanese, South Koreans and everybody else has sent to the North Koreans."

Hadley said the United States has been concerned about North Korea's missile program "for some time," not only about their development of the weapons, but also their willingness to sell them to third parties.

"[P]reparations are very far along, so you could, from a capability standpoint, have a launch," he said, adding that he could not predict Pyongyang's intentions but "the way out of this is for the North Koreans to decide not to test this missile."


The national security advisor also repeated calls for Iran to respond to the offer by the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany soon, saying that an answer before upcoming meetings of foreign ministers and heads of state at the Group of Eight and other fora "would advance the negotiating process."

"[W]hat we've said is, weeks, not months, and we're into weeks. And we think it's a good proposal and the Iranians ought to come back and provide some indication of acceptance, so we can start working through the details," he said.

He said the United States and other countries are not trying to make "an arbitrary set of deadlines" to the proposal, which would provide Iran with positive incentives in return for halting its uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities.

"We're trying to do this in a way that is respectful of the Iranian people and respectful of the regime, and is most calculated to get a positive response," he said.


Regarding the Doha round of the World Trade Organization (WTO) talks, Hadley called upon Europe and the Group of 20 industrialized countries to match President Bush's proposal to end all agricultural subsidies with "boldness and courage" in the areas of agriculture, services and non-agricultural products.

In October 2005, the United States submitted a proposal for sharply cutting agricultural tarif's and domestic support payments to farmers, but analysis of a subsequent EU proposal determined that it offered little, if any, real new market access.

Hadley described the president's proposal as "ambitious" and "very forthcoming," and said Bush "did it in order to try and get the negotiations going," but said it "needs to be matched by boldness on the part of the other sides."

He said the United States has seen some proposals, "but not of the kind of commensurate scale as the one that we made."

Hadley said the principal beneficiaries of the talks are going to be developing countries. "[I]n order for us to do that and to achieve that kind of result, and make the most of this opportunity, people have to be ambitious," he said.