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France seeks strong UN response to N. Korea test

Written by: Staff
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UNITED NATIONS, July 5 (Reuters) France said today it was consulting with fellow U.N. Security Council members on ''a strong, united response'' from the international community to North Korea's test-firing of a barrage of missiles.

France, the Security Council president for July, said in a statement that it called on North Korea ''in the strongest terms'' to strictly abide by a 1999 moratorium on missile tests.

''North Korea's attitude goes against the effort to ensure stability and security in northeast Asia, particularly the six-party talks on the nuclear issue. Our objective remains the complete, irreversible and verifiable dismantling of North Korea's military nuclear program,'' the French statement said.

Paris ''has decided immediately to start consultations with a view to sending North Korea a strong, united response from the international community,'' the statement said.

A French spokesman said on Tuesday the council would meet in closed session on Wednesday to discuss a council response to the missile tests, but no time was yet set.

The meeting was requested by Japanese U.N. Ambassador Kenzo Oshima, the spokesman said.

REUTERS CH RK2009

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