South Korea, Japan at Odds Over North's Missile Tests

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Japan and South Korea disagreed Tuesday over how to respond to North Korea's missile tests last month, with Seoul calling for more talks and Tokyo saying only pressure can make the reclusive regime refrain from further tests, Japan's Foreign Ministry said.

"South Korea believes the emphasis should be on dialogue," South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon was quoted as telling Japanese counterpart Aso Taro at a meeting in Tokyo.

"The most important thing now is not to make the situation worse," Foreign Ministry official Shigeo Yamada quoted Ban as saying.

Aso said Tokyo does not wish to terminate all dialogue with Pyongyang, but that there will be no progress without pressure, Yamada said, without elaborating.

Though the seven missiles fired by North Korea on July 5 fell harmlessly into the sea, they drew strong international condemnation.

The U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution denouncing the launches and banning countries from missile-related dealings with the North.

Japan had pushed for a resolution backed by the threat of military force, but backed down when China threatened a veto amid accusations that Tokyo was overreacting.

Ban told Aso the North should accept the U.N. measure, which also calls for Pyongyang to return to six-party talks on its nuclear ambitions.

The talks, which include the Koreas, Japan, the United States, Russia and China, have stalled since November.