ST July 7, 2006
N. Korea warns it will conduct more missile tests
Regime threatens retaliation as key UN members discuss sanctions
SEOUL - A DEFIANT North Korea acknowledged for the first time yesterday that it had launched several missiles, vowed to carry out more tests and threatened to use force if the international community tried to stop it.
The Bush administration dismissed the threats and made a stern call to get the secretive regime to 'cease and desist' such actions.
China, grappling with pressure from Washington over North Korea's tests, said its top negotiator on the North Korean nuclear crisis would visit Pyongyang next week.
While China and Russia oppose sanctions, the United States and Japan have closed ranks in the face of a UN Security Council split on the issue.
'The Korean People's Army will go on with missile launch exercises as part of its efforts to bolster deterrent for self-defence in the future, too,' North Korea's KCNA news agency quoted a foreign ministry spokesman as saying.
'The DPRK will have no option but to take stronger physical actions of other forms, should any other country dare take issue with the exercises and put pressure upon it.' DPRK stands for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
The North launched seven missiles on Wednesday, one of which was a failed test of a long-range Taepodong-2.
You'd think that the recent events in North Korea would scare lots of people, but financial markets are actually looking pretty steady. A quick snapshot of financial markets around the world yesterday/today:
... green means that a particular market is up; red means that the particular market is down; and black means that the market hadn't opened yet when Mr Wang looked into the Yahoo! finance pages.
As you can see most markets finished green yesterday or started off on a green note this morning. Stock market indices are like the collective pulse of investors worldwide (institutions, corporates and the man in the street) and basically the pulse yesterday and today is not really reflecting much anxiety over North Korea.
Maybe that's what happens when you close yourself off from the rest of the world for too long. Everyone moves on eventually and forgets about you. You have to fire off half a dozen missiles in order to get some attention ... and even that may not work.
Technorati: Singapore; North Korea; stocks.