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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, July 6, 2006

Inouye says N. Korea wants respect

 •  North Korea warns of more tests

Advertiser Staff


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North Korea is trying to increase its political stature through its actions, Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, D-Hawai'i, said yesterday.

"I think it's obvious that (North Korean leader) Kim Jong-Il is looking for respect, and he thinks that by demonstrating that he's a nuclear power, he's going to get some respect," said Hawai'i's senior senator.

Inouye answered questions about North Korea at an unrelated press conference during which fellow Hawai'i Sen. Daniel K. Akaka filed his nomination papers for re-election. Inouye was there to show support for Akaka in his re-election bid against Congressman Ed Case.

"He (Kim) also wants recognition as a member of the world community. And beyond all this, he is naturally concerned about his starving people and the economy, which is in a shambles," Inouye said.

Inouye said Hawai'i residents should not be overly concerned about the possibility of missile strikes here, at least not now.

"They just have three to six, at the most, warheads, and if they decide to use one of them and devastate one of our cities, we've got enough in one arsenal, on one ship, to obliterate their whole nation. That's not our desire, but that's the danger they're playing with, and I hope they realize that," he said.

Inouye added that military installations in and around Hawai'i provide adequate defense for the state "at this time."

The situation will be resolved only through lengthy discussions among North Korean, U.S. and other world leaders. "It will take discussions," he said. "In a negotiation, you give some and they give some. It's a give-and-take. I would rather have a give-and-take than having the press report every evening, 'This evening, we've had 10 dead and 15 wounded.' I've been through that."

Advertiser staff writer Gordon Y.K. Pang contributed to this report.