Received 7 July 2006 from the Embassy of DPR of Korea in London:
DPRK Foreign Ministry Spokesman on Its Missile Launches
Pyongyang, July 6 (KCNA) — A spokesman for the DPRK Foreign Ministry gave the following answer to a question raised by KCNA Thursday as regards the missile launches in the DPRK: In the wake of the missile launches by the Korean People’s Army the U.S. and some other countries following it, including Japan, are making much ado about a serious development. They are terming them “violation” and “provocation” and calling for “sanctions” and “their referral to the UN Security Council.”
The latest successful missile launches were part of the routine military exercises staged by the KPA to increase the nation’s military capacity for self-defence.
The DPRK’s exercise of its legitimate right as a sovereign state is neither bound to any international law nor to bilateral or multilateral agreements such as the DPRK-Japan Pyongyang Declaration and the joint statement of the six-party talks.
The DPRK is not a signatory to the Missile Technology Control Regime and, therefore, is not bound to any commitment under it.
As for the moratorium on long-range missile test-fire which the DPRK agreed with the U.S. in 1999, it was valid only when the DPRK-U.S. dialogue was under way.
The same can be said of the moratorium on the long-range missile test-fire which the DPRK agreed with Japan in the DPRK-Japan Pyongyang Declaration in 2002.
In the DPRK-Japan Pyongyang Declaration the DPRK expressed its “intention to extend beyond 2003 the moratorium on the missile fire in the spirit of the declaration.”
This step was taken on the premise that Japan moved to normalize its relations with the DPRK and redeem its past.
The Japanese authorities, however, have abused the DPRK’s good faith. It is a manifestation of the DPRK’s broad magnanimity that it has put on hold the missile launch so far under this situation.
The joint statement of the six-party talks on September 19, 2005 stipulates the commitments to be fulfilled by the six sides to the talks to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.
But no sooner had the joint statement been adopted than the U.S. applied financial sanctions against the DPRK and escalated pressure upon it in various fields through them. The U.S., at the same time, has totally hamstrung the efforts for the implementation of the joint statement through such threat and blackmail as large-scale military exercises targeted against the DPRK.
It is clear to everyone that there is no need for the DPRK to unilaterally put on hold the missile launch under such situation.
But for the DPRK’s tremendous deterrent for self-defence, the U.S. would have attacked the DPRK more than once as it had listed the former as part of an “axis of evil” and a “target of preemptive nuclear attack” and peace on the Korean Peninsula and in the region would have been seriously disturbed.
The DPRK’s missile development, test-fire, manufacture and deployment, therefore, serve as a key to keeping the balance of force and preserving peace and stability in Northeast Asia.
It is also preposterous for them to term the latest missile launches a “provocation” and the like for the mere reason that the DPRK did not send prior notice about them.
It would be quite foolish to notify Washington and Tokyo of the missile launches in advance, given that the U.S., which is technically at war with the DPRK, has threatened it since a month ago that it would intercept the latter’s missile in collusion with Japan.
We would like to ask the U.S. and Japan if they had ever notified the DPRK of their ceaseless missile launches in the areas close to it.
The DPRK remains unchanged in its will to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula in a negotiated peaceful manner just as it committed itself in the September 19 joint statement of the six-party talks.
The latest missile launch exercises are quite irrelevant to the six-party talks.
The KPA will go on with missile launch exercises as part of its efforts to bolster deterrent for self-defence in the future, too.
The DPRK will have no option but to take stronger physical actions of other forms, should any other country dares take issue with the exercises and put pressure upon it.