North Korea Must Disclose Missile Test Intentions, Bush Says
Washington - President Bush said North Korea should tell the international community its intentions over its planned long-range ballistic missile test, as well as about the warhead it has on the missile.
Speaking to reporters June 26 after meeting with nongovernmental organizations that are supporting U.S. troops in Iraq, Bush also said Pyongyang’s proposed missile test is “provocative,” and the country has not responded to calls to disclose its intentions.
“We don't know. That's part of the problem. It's a nontransparent society that ought to be sharing its intentions with the rest of the world,” he said.
The president welcomed the Chinese government’s delivery of a “focused message” to the North Koreans, and said he hopes “the leader [Kim Jong Il] in North Korea listened to the Chinese.”
North Korea’s interlocutors in the Six-Party Talks - the United States, China, Russia, Japan and South Korea – have called upon Pyongyang to respect its own 1999 voluntary moratorium and refrain from testing a long-range ballistic missile. (See related article.)
TERRORIST FINANCE TRACKING SYSTEM
Bush also said the media disclosure of a U.S. Treasury Department program to look at the bank records of suspected terrorists is “disgraceful,” and that the program operates within the confines of U.S. law.
“We're at war with a bunch of people who want to hurt the United States of America. And for people to leak that program and for a newspaper to publish it does great harm to the United States of America,” he said.
“If you want to figure out what the terrorists are doing, you try to follow their money, and that's exactly what we're doing,” he said.
Bush was asked about General George Casey’s draft proposal to cut the number of U.S. troops in Iraq. He said Casey and the Iraqi government would make any decision on U.S. troop levels based upon the conditions on the ground. He said Casey assured him that “whatever recommendation he makes, it will be aimed toward achieving victory.” (See Iraq Update.)
Bush and Casey discussed the training of Iraqi security forces, as well as military actions going on in Baghdad and Ramadi. “The coalition is in the lead in Ramadi, and we're trying to make sure Ramadi does not become a safe haven for al Qaeda,” he said.
The president said he is “determined to succeed” in Iraq, and “we will implement a plan to achieve victory,” adding, “I know we're doing the right thing and I know we will win.
Asked about global warming, the president called for implementing new technologies that will enable good environmental stewardship, such as clean coal and nuclear power, and to reduce dependence on foreign sources of oil through the use of hydrogen and ethanol. (See Climate Change.)
“I've got a plan to be able to deal with greenhouse gases,” he said.
The transcript of the president’s remarks is available on the White House Web site.