Video: Nervous, angry over missile tests

By Tom Aspell Correspondent
NBC News
updated 7/5/2006 7:43:49 PM ET 2006-07-05T23:43:49

North Korea's neighbors reacted with a range of emotions Wednesday, from anger to caution. In Seoul, North Korean flags and pictures of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il were burned, as the South Korean government warned the missile launches would only deepen North Korea's isolation and provoke a buildup of military forces in Asia.

South Korea put its own military on high alert, as did Japan. The Japanese government took the hardest line in the region, hinting at harsh economic sanctions against North Korea. It banned North Korean ferries from entering its ports for six months, and turned one ferry back.

The Japanese stock market reacted nervously. The yen fell against the dollar, fueling Japanese anger at North Korea.

"We've got to slap sanctions on North Korea," said one Japanese man. "That country is really irresponsible."

From China the reaction was cautious. The foreign ministry said the missiles were "a cause for concern."

But there seemed little cause for concern in Seoul Wednesday night. The streets were full of shoppers, not soldiers. Koreans we've talked to say they're not afraid of Pyongyang's missiles because here they are under the protection of the United States.

More than 50 years after the Korean war ended, there are still 35,000 U.S. troops based here, keeping careful watch on North Korea.

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