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Australian PM backs UN motion on North Korea

Written by: Staff

Canberra, July 7: Australian Prime Minister John Howard today backed a UN Security Council resolution on North Korea's missile tests proposed by Japan and the United States.

Australia is one of the few countries to have diplomatic ties with North Korea. Canberra called in the isolated communist nation's ambassador and cancelled diplomatic visits after the July 4 missile tests.

Howard said the world needed to send a united message to North Korea, which he said was not acting rationally, and he urged China and Russia to also support the UN resolution.

''I think the whole world is concerned,'' Howard told Australian radio today.

''If it gets a fragmented message, if it thinks the rest of the world is speaking differently or in several voices, then it is less likely to understand the seriousness of what has occurred.'' In an earlier television interview, Howard said he would like China to exert as much pressure as possible on North Korea, which he said was expected to conduct more missile tests.

''I certainly expect more tests,'' Howard said.

US President George W Bush spoke to Howard from an Air Force One flight from Washington to Chicago in further diplomatic consultations about North Korea, White House spokesman Tony Snow said.

''It was a 15-minute call and I think it's safe to say that they were very candid in assessing the situation and very determined to work together and they're confident that they're going to have a good result,'' Snow said.

He said Howard offered to assist, but did not give any details.


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