The Japanese government yesterday applauded the Russian-U.S. summit agreement on sharing information related to ballistic missile launches (see previous story). Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi said in Tokyo that it was “desirable that the two states holding missiles [Russia and the United States] reached an agreement, as this will have an impact on other countries.” Obuchi’s remarks follow North Korea’s August 31 firing of a ballistic missile that passed over Japanese territory. (See the Monitor, September 2) The North Korean action has alarmed Japanese leaders. Japan’s Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura, speaking to his country’s lawmakers yesterday, said that the North Korean missile launch posed “not only a serious threat to our country’s security, but also a grave matter for security, peace and stability in Northeast Asia.” (UPI, Kyodo, September 2)
Russia, meanwhile, continued to dither yesterday in reacting to the North Korean missile launch. A Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman said that Moscow was still studying the possible consequences of the North Korean action. He also said that Russia had requested information about the launch from the United States, China, Japan and South Korea, and that it was awaiting an explanation through diplomatic channels from Pyongyang. (Russian agencies, September 2)
BEREZOVSKY SAYS YELTSIN MAY HAVE TO GO.