Putin calls for calm on Korea missile tests

North Korea's missile tests have prompted a flurry of diplomatic activity as UN Security Council members seek to respond with a course of action.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the international community should react calmly. He spoke in answer to questions on an internet panel.

 “These tests are being carried out by our neighbour – close to our borders – but at the same time, these events should not trigger the sort of emotions that overcome common sense,” said Russia’s head of state. “They should be examined comprehensively and they should bring about restoration of the negotiating process on the North Korean issue.”

UN diplomats have been trying to hammer out a coherent response to Pyongyang missile tests which have prompted worldwide concern. A draft resolution submitted by Japan and backed by the United States calls for nations to halt funding and technology that could be used for North Korea's missile programme.

Though China and Russia oppose sanctions, Washington says all parties are united in their desire to see the Korean peninsula free of nuclear weapons, and that patience and diplomacy are needed to bring North Korea back to six-party talks.

President George Bush responded to developments saying a diplomatic solution was sought “and the best way to solve this problem diplomatically is for all of us to be working in concert and to send one message and that is to Kim Jong Il that we expect you to keep your word.”