Region 8 Weighs In On North Korea Missile Tests

July 5, 2006 - Posted at 4:28 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR -- Tensions are raised in countries around the world as governments respond to North Korea's missile tests. Wednesday, the communist country launched seven test rockets, including a long-range missile, which could potentially reach U.S. soil...all of which landed in the Sea of Japan.

The North Koreans have forced the world to take notice, propelling the diplomatic forces forward.  The U.S. is asking for international condemnation from the U.N. Security Council.

"What can you expect from a country whose three main exports are missile technology, counterfeit U.S. $100 bills, and methamphetamines?" said ASU Political Science Professor Ross Marlay.

Marlay believes the tested missiles had propaganda motives.

"I think it's not a coincidence that they started this launch sequence about an hour or two hours after our space shuttle was launched and it just happened for their propaganda purposes that was on the Fourth of July," said Marlay.

While Marlay doesn't think North Korea presents an immediate military threat to the United States, Jonesboro resident Keith Dortch thinks the country's behavior is something to watch.

"The big concern I have is the big picture about the future that we have as a world, watching my children grow up and in the world they are going to live in," said Dortch, "I'm hoping that states like these, these rogue states will eventually fall by the wayside and it will come to a world where we don't have to worry about threats like those."

"What would you do if you had a neighbor who was clearly a lunatic and you feared he had a bomb?  You probably want to approach him very carefully.  And that's what we are doing," said Marlay, "The Bush administration has treated North Korea quiet carefully, despite the rhetoric."

And whether it's technology North Korea has mastered, one thing they've garnered is attention.

"I don't think it really interrupted anyone's Fourth of July, if anything, it went up as about as long as the other fireworks around here," said Dortch.

President Bush says the missile launches make North Korea even more of an outcast.  Bush says he intends to deal with North Korea through group talks, rather than one-on-one negotiations.