N.Korea missile tests to be high on G8 summit agenda - Putin

Other News Materials 12 July 2006 15:50 (UTC +04:00)

(RIA Novosti) - International concerns over North Korea's recent ballistic missile tests will be high on the agenda of a meeting of world leaders in Russia this weekend, President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday.

The communist nation launched several ballistic missiles, including a long-range Taepodong-2, last Tuesday despite a moratorium on missile tests. The Japanese military said at the time that all missiles fell in the northwestern part of the Sea of Japan closer to Russia than to Japan, reports Trend.

Speaking to Canadian television network CTV ahead of a Group of Eight summit in St. Petersburg, the Russian leader said: "Formally, in legal terms, from the standpoint of international law, North Korea has the right to develop missile technologies because it has not signed any international agreements in the field."

This does not mean, however, that Pyongyang can exercise this right to the detriment of others' interests, he said.

"I mean, for example, restrictions linked with shipping freedom, because North Korean experts, partners warned nobody about their tests. They did not say where missile [unarmed] warheads or other parts could fall and this could have lead to grave consequences," Putin said.

He said the remains of missiles had not reached Russia territorial waters or economic zone.

"But this is happening close to our borders and causes concern. Naturally, this will be under discussion in St. Petersburg," Putin said.

The leaders of Russia, Germany, France, the United States, Canada, Italy and Japan will gather in St. Petersburg on July 15-17.