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ROK Appeals Not to Heighten Tension on Korean Peninsula
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South Korean government Sunday appealed in a statement that the international community should join efforts to avoid heightening tension on the Korean Peninsula.

"It is not desirable to heighten tension on the Korean Peninsula and worsen inter-Korean relations. Such things are not helpful in resolving the North Korean nuclear and missile problems," said a statement by the Presidential Office of Cheong Wa Dae.

The latest missile launch in North Korea was merely a political incident and should not be turned into an emergency in terms of national security, the statement said.

The statement came amid reports that an UN resolution on North Korea for its missile tests earlier last week will likely be put to a vote at the UN Security Council (UNSC) as early as Monday.

According to the Yonhap, the United States and Japan are determined to send the resolution draft to the UNSC on Monday. If the draft were approved, it would lead to sanctions against North Korea.

Song Min-soon, chief secretary to South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun for security policy, said later in a telephone interview with Yonhap News Agency on Sunday "It is difficult for us to determine if a UN resolution against Pyongyang will be effective in the prevention of North Korea's missile proliferation program."

"If UN sanctions (over North Korea) are determined effective, we'll consider supporting them. For the time being, however, we need to have clear ground that these sanctions will work for preventing any missile proliferation," he added.

South Korea is looking forward to a diplomatic settlement of the missile problem of North Korea, said Song.

(Xinhua News Agency July 10, 2006)

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