I know it's a complex subject. But if I were a Japanese I would be scared as hell, I guess, had a friend told me something like: "Have you followed the news? A missile has just gone over our heads and fell into the sea. You know, the mad hatter from North Korea".
I'm aware of some of the complexity of it all, but I can't deny the output is scary. My toughts are with the many nice and kind Japanese Queenzoners, some of whom I had the pleasure to get in contact with through e-mail!
The link to the article, with its many helpful hyperlinks and so on, is here: www.nytimes.com/2009/04/12/world/asia/12nations.html?hp
"U.N. Council May Rebuke North Korea
UNITED NATIONS — The major players on the United Nations Security Council reached a compromise Saturday to chastise North Korea for launching a rocket while avoiding tough new punishments that Russia and China had feared would drive the North away from negotiations over dismantling its nuclear program.
The Council may vote as soon as Monday on the American draft of a presidential statement, a step less forceful than a resolution, that would tighten existing sanctions by singling out specific North Korean organizations and expanding the list of banned goods related to its nuclear and missile programs.
After haggling all week, the five permanent members plus Japan agreed to the compromise in order to project unity, although the United States and Japan had initially pushed for a stronger response.
Russia and China, in calling for a measured reaction, publicly avoided characterizing the rocket launching as a ballistic missile test, and the word missile never appears in the statement. But it condemns North Korea for the event and warns the country against any further launchings.
“What the Council can do, and we hope will do, through the adoption of this statement is to send a very clear message to North Korea that what they have done under the guise of a satellite launch is in fact a violation of their obligations and indeed that there are consequences for such actions,” said Susan E. Rice, the American ambassador.
Much of the world viewed the launching as an effort by North Korea to prove it is edging toward the capability to shoot a nuclear warhead on a longer-range missile. North Korea has said the rocket was designed to propel a satellite into space.
A presidential statement must be passed by all 15 members of the Council. Although the United States considers it legally binding internationally, others deem it more of a recommendation.
Given the weight of those backing it, passage is almost assured. But Libya, a Council member, expressed reservations Saturday since it maintains that launching a peaceful satellite is the right of all nations.
American officials have said the satellite fell into the Pacific.
The Council imposed sanctions against North Korea in Resolution 1718 in 2006, after the North conducted a nuclear test and a missile launching. But the major powers focused less on enforcing the sanctions than on negotiations with North Korea, called the six-party talks, to try to dismantle the country’s nuclear program. Those talks remain the major powers’ priority.
The North had threatened to walk out of the talks if the United Nations punished it for the launching. But it has been silent on the subject recently, and analysts said Saturday that the Council response was measured enough that the North would likely continue to negotiate."