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Koizumi says G-8 to discuss response to North Korea

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said leaders of the Group of Eight nations will discuss a response to North Korea's missile tests at a summit in Russia this week. Koizumi, speaking at a news conference today in Tokyo, said he wants the United Nations Security Council to vote „as soon as possible” on a tabled resolution calling for sanctions against North Korea. Japan will take a leading role in discussions at the G-8 summit in St. Petersburg about the appropriate response to the North Korean missile tests, he said. ”We have to be persistent in explaining our point of view,” Koizumi said. “The international community must act to contain North Korea.” North Korea drew international condemnation after firing seven missiles that landed in the Sea of Japan on July 5, including a long-range Taepodong-2, which U.S. officials say could reach Alaska. Japan tabled a resolution in the United Nations Security Council demanding sanctions. Koizumi is scheduled to leave Japan today for an eight-day trip that includes the G-8 summit in St. Petersburg on July 15 to 17. (Bloomberg)