The nation’s party-controlled media has warned that if the U.S. and Japan proceed with plans for a joint missile defense system, North Korea might have to respond with force.
While commenting on its government's accusations that the U.S. is bent on provoking a war on the Korean peninsula the state-run Korean Central News Agency said: "If they continue to provoke military confrontation with North Korea – following this path to war – we will have no option but to respond with firm resolve."
Meanwhile, Russia and China joined with North Korea in attacking U.S. national missile defense (NMD) plans at the U.N. During a United Nations disarmament forum, the three governments attacked the United States for its intent to build a defense against ballistic missiles according to an April 11 report in the Washington Post.
In separate speeches, the three countries attacked NMD. The North Koreans pledged countermeasures against the missile defense plans and the Russians warned they might have to give up their nuclear weapons reduction program in light of the American NMD proposals.
Moscow is also trying to line up opposition to Washington's plans for the new anti-missile defense shield. According to the official Chinese Xinhua news agency, bilateral talks on strategic stability between Moscow and Beijing had resulted in full agreement between the two countries on their opposition to U.S. missile defense.
None of this rhetoric appears to have impressed President Bush. According to an April 5 report in the London Daily Telegraph, President Bush is said to be ready to withdraw the United States from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, a Cold War pact with the USSR that restricted each country's ability to defend itself against missile attack.
While it has been argued that the US must withdraw from the treaty before going ahead with NMD, administration NMD advocates say that the treaty is null and void anyway, since it was signed with the Soviet Union, a nation that no longer exists.
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