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Bush says unacceptable for N.Korea to test missile

Written by: Staff
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WASHINGTON, June 29 (Reuters) US President George W Bush today warned North Korea against test-firing a long-range missile and underscored concerns about its nuclear ambitions.

''We both agreed that it's very important for us to remain united in sending a clear message to the North Korean leader that, first of all, launching a missile is unacceptable,'' Bush said at a joint news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.

''There's been no briefings as to what's on top of the missile,'' he added. ''They haven't told anybody where the missile's going.'' Koizumi, asked by a reporter what Japan and the United States would do in response to a missile launch by Pyongyang, said that should this take place they would apply various forms of ''pressure.'' He declined to give details on measures he discussed with Bush in response to mounting expectations that North Korea might test-fire a long-range missile, based on observations that a rocket appears to have been prepared for launch.

The first time North Korea tried out a long-range missile - in 1998, firing it over Japan - it caused financial markets to panic and raised fears among the Japanese.

Bush said he and Koizumi had talked about the need to work together ''to bring a resolution to this issue about nuclear weapons,'' referring to six-party talks to curb North Korea's nuclear weapons ambitions.

REUTERS SHR VV2237

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