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North Korea ally Vietnam calls for restraint

Written by: Staff
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HANOI, July 6 (Reuters) Vietnam, which has diplomatic relations with both its longtime fellow-communist North Korea and South Korea, called for restraint in Asia after Pyongyang's missile tests.

Hanoi, which has had ties to Pyongyang since 1950, has in recent years developed a foreign policy of friendships with as many countries as possible, including former enemies China and the United States, to boost economic development.

''As a country in the region, Vietnam pays great attention to the new development regarding the PDR of Korea's missile test launch,'' Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Le Dung said in a statement on Wednesday night.

''We hope all concerned parties exercise restraint in order to find a peaceful solution that maintains a peaceful, stable and cooperative environment in the region and the world,'' he said.

Early yesterday, North Korea defied international warnings by launching at least six missiles and a seventh 12 hours later.

Vietnam, one of the few communist-run countries in the world, has also had diplomatic relations since 1992 with South Korea, the other half of the divided Korean peninsula. Economic links with the South are strong while ties with the North are cool.

When former President Tran Duc Luong visited Pyongyang in 2002, he was the first Vietnamese state leader to do so in four decades.

REUTERS SK RS0924

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