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Bush Calls For Diplomacy With N. Korea

Mr. Bush said that, after speaking to world leaders in the last few days, he was pleased that leaders of China, South Korea, Japan and Russia agreed that the reclusive communist regime should not be allowed to possess nuclear weapons.

"My message was that we want to solve this problem diplomatically, and the best way to solve this problem diplomatically is for all of us to be working in concert," Mr. Bush said. But the president warned that "diplomacy takes a while."

He said that what's important is that the international community speaks with one voice.

Mr. Bush said the nations' message to Kim Jong Il was, "We expect you to adhere to international norms. We expect you to keep your word."

On Friday, North Korea targeted waters near Hawaii when it fired a long-range missile this week, Japan's conservative mainstream daily Sankei reported. The paper said Japanese and U.S. defense officials have concluded that the Taepodong-2 had been targeted U.S. state of Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean, after analyzing data collected from their intelligence equipment. The newspaper quoted unidentified Japanese and U.S. government officials.

North Korea set off an international furor on Wednesday when it tested seven missiles, all of which landed into the Sea of Japan without causing any damage. The launches apparently included a failed test of the long-range Taepodong-2 – a missile that could eventually threaten the continental United States.

Data collected by U.S. intelligence from spy platforms like the tracking ship Observation Island indicate a failure of the missile's guidance system caused it to tumble out of control, reports CBS News national security correspondent David Martin. It broke apart from the dynamic stress and its debris scattered into the Sea of Japan and over North Korea itself.

Because the missile failed so early in flight, Martin reports, there's still a lot the United States doesn't know.

At the United Nations, there were differences over a Japanese-backed draft resolution to sanction North Korea. U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said the measure had "broad and deep support," but Russian officials said they were looking for a compromise.

Russia's foreign minister warned against threatening North Korea with sanctions after its missile tests, saying it would provoke a hostile response, and President Vladimir Putin struck a similar note in his first public comments about the launches.

In a Webcast on British Broadcasting Corp. Web sites, Putin said that Russia was "disappointed" and concerned, but stressed the need for diplomacy and a return to six-nation talks to defuse tension over Pyongyang's nuclear program.

The tests "should not lead to such emotions that would drown out common sense," Putin said. "We have to review the issue in all its entirety. We should be aiming to resuming the negotiation process with North Korea... We have to create an atmosphere that will lead to compromise."


North Korea remained defiant Thursday, threatening to test-fire more missiles amid signs of further activity at the reclusive regime's launch sites.

The North Korean Foreign Ministry, in a statement made through the state-run Korean Central News Agency, insisted that the communist state had the right to missile tests and argued the weapons were needed for defense.

"The successful missile launches were part of our military's regular military drills to strengthen self defense," said the statement. "As a sovereign country, this is our legal right and we are not bound by any international law or bilateral or multilateral agreements."

The statement did not mention the apparent failure of the Taepodong-2. But, Martin reports that Kim Jung Il's military advisers are almost certainly telling him the failure was the consequence of not having tested a long range missile in eight years and are urging him to try again.

The ministry also appeared to confirm mounting fears in South Korea that the North was preparing for further launches. South Korean officials said intelligence showed continued activity at Northern missile sites.

U.S. intelligence officials said there is no sign that another long-range Taepodong is being prepared for launch, a process that would take days if not weeks, Martin reports.

As for shorter-range missiles that could hit Japan and South Korea, those are already in their launchers and could be test fired at any time.

Pyongyang also vowed to retaliate against efforts to interfere with the launches, but it did not specify what it would do.

"Our military will continue with missile launch drills in the future as part of efforts to strengthen self-defense deterrent. If anyone intends to dispute or add pressure about this, we will have to take stronger physical actions in other forms," the statement said.