Government to Take Series of Actions to Cope with N.K. Missile Launch

    Seoul, Sept. 5, 1998 (KPS)--The Korean Government is planning a series of bilateral and multilateral meetings with other countries in the wake of North Korea's launch of a rocket early this week in the belief that the launch, whether it was a missile or a satellite, constitutes a serious threat to the security of the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia.
    In a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade right after a meeting of the National Security Council on Saturday morning, the Government stated that it had concluded that the incident is serious because the rocket firing means the Pyongyang regime now possesses the capability of delivering a mid-range missile.
    Following are excerpts of the Government's statement:
    The North Korean claim that they have put an artificial satellite into orbit has not yet been confirmed. The Administration, in cooperation with the U.S. and Japanese governments, is working to find out the validity of Pyongyang's claim.
    To cope with the situation, the Government plans to hold foreign ministers talks with the U.S. and Japan at the United Nations session at the end of September, as well as a working-level meeting among high-ranking officials of the three countries soon.
    At the request of Japan, the Government will also hold a bilateral conference to exchange information regarding North Korea at the earliest possible date. The Government is going to take issue with the North's missile development at the U.N. and other international organizations.