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N Korean diplomat says missile launch not an attack

Written by: Staff

SEOUL, July 7 (Reuters) North Korea sees this week's missile launch as a success that brings pride to the country and there was no intention of attacking anyone, Yonhap news agency today cited a North Korean diplomat as saying.

Yesterday, North Korea vowed to carry out more missile tests and threatened to use force if the international community tried to stop it.

''This is not an attack on someone,'' Korea diplomat Choe Myong-nam told Yonhap, referring to Wednesday's barrage of missiles.

''From an international point of view, it is not fair to say who can do one thing and who can't,'' the councillor at the North's UN mission in Geneva said. ''The same applies to possessing nuclear weapons.'' In February 2005, North Korea said it possessed nuclear weapons. Since then, it threatened several times to bolster its nuclear arsenal due to the what it saw as Washington's hostile position towards it.

Choe reiterated the North's position that Pyongyang plans to launch more missiles.

Defying international warnings, North Korea launched from its east coast at least six missiles early on Wednesday. As the international community was chastising it for those, Pyongyang launched a seventh some 12 hours later, Japanese and South Korean officials said.

The missiles included a long-range Taepodong-2. The missile, which some experts have said could hit parts of Alaska, failed about 40 seconds into its flight, according to US officials.

Reuters DH VP0715

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