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S. Korea Blasts Japanese Official's 'Preemptive Strike' Remarks
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South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun yesterday described the latest remarks by a senior Japanese official about launching a "preemptive strike" against North Korea as an "overreaction."


"The remarks by Japan's political leaders have created a new situation, and there is concern this could exacerbate the situation," the president said during the dinner with a group of ruling Uri Party officials.


Roh said South Korea would make continuous efforts to prevent the use of military means in any form on the Korean Peninsula.


He said dialogue between South and North Korea should continue.


Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe expressed earlier his support for developing Japan's capability to counter-attack in the event of a missile launch targeting Japan.


The North Korean test fired seven missiles last Wednesday, including a long-range missile.


However, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said on Monday that "It is a different thing when it comes to saying that Japan should conduct a preemptive strike before actually being attacked," as it is a "constitutional issue" and must be studied "carefully."


(Xinhua News Agency July 12, 2006)


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