Ambassador Schieffer Comments on North Korean Missile Launches

Ambassador J. Thomas Schieffer
Press Comments After Meeting on DPRK Launch
Prime Minister's Official Residence
Tokyo, Japan

July 5, 2006

AMBASSADOR SCHIEFFER: I came over this morning and had a discussion with the Chief Cabinet Secretary, the Defense Minister and the Foreign Minister. It was a very good discussion. We exchanged information. We discussed what we believe has happened, and we believe that multiple launches have occurred at multiple sites. We're evaluating the information that we have, and we have promised to stay in close coordination. We began exchanging information early this morning, at the first sign of this launch. We have continued to do so throughout the morning. We will continue to do so as the day progresses. We discussed in the meeting just now the possibility of both governments taking this matter directly to the United Nations. Of course, we will have information on that as the day goes on. With that, I would be glad to answer any questions.

QUESTION: What kind of information did you exchange?

AMBASSADOR SCHIEFFER: Well, we're exchanging all levels of information. We are having - we're talking to each other. We're coordinating. We're just sharing everything that we know so that each of us will be able to have the latest information and the latest analysis on what's happening.

QUESTION: Was the U.S. government predicting the launches this time?

AMBASSADOR SCHIEFFER: Well, I think that we have been following for some time now the possibility that this launch might occur, or that multiple launches might occur, so I think that there were no surprises in that regard.

QUESTION: Did you confirm the specific type of missile that was launched?

AMBASSADOR SCHIEFFER: Well, we're talking about that, but we're still evaluating the information, and I don't want to go into it further than that right now.

QUESTION: Mr. Ambassador, have you specifically [inaudible] from Japan? And what is the U.S. message to North Korea?

AMBASSADOR SCHIEFFER: Our message is that this is a very provocative act, and we would hope that they would cease and desist from these kind of provocative acts. This is no way to advance their foreign policy goals. This is a very dangerous thing that they've done this morning, and we are going to continue to work with our allies and friends around the world, and that's why we're considering taking it to the United Nations.

QUESTION: Any other specific steps that the governments are going to take?

AMBASSADOR SCHIEFFER: Well, we're continuing to consider those options. So far we have done a great job, I think, of coordinating our activities, and of course, that will be ongoing, and I need to get back to the office now to get back to work.