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  • Morning Bell: North Korea's Rogue Missile Launch

    South Koreans watch a TV Report on the Launch of North Korea’s missile on April 12, 2012.

    In defiance of international pressure, North Korea last night launched a long range missile, underscoring the belligerent regime’s continuing threat to U.S. interests and regional stability in Asia.

    The launch comes as the rogue nation is continuing its transition to new leadership under dictator Kim Jong-un, who replaced his father Kim Jong-il after his death in December. In addition to the missile test, it has been reported that North Korea may also be in the “final stages” of preparations for another nuclear test, leading to escalating tensions that could spur Jong-un to undertake more provocative military actions.

    This is despite promising on February 29 to agree to a “moratorium on nuclear tests, long-range missile launches, and uranium enrichment activity at Yongbyon and [would] allow the IAEA to monitor the moratorium on uranium enrichment while productive dialogues continue.” The Obama Administration was criticized for accepting this vague statement as a bilateral agreement without insisting on a detailed joint document that clearly laid out both sides’ commitments. Today, we see the result as North Korea is claiming that its test did not violate the terms of the agreement.

    North Korea’s missile reportedly failed shortly after launch, but nevertheless demands a strong U.S. response. Heritage’s Bruce Klingner writes of the growing danger under the country’s new leadership, warning that Jong-un “is more likely than his father Kim Jong-il to miscalculate during a crisis, unaware that Seoul is more likely to retaliate to a military clash than in the past.” Klingner also notes that President Obama has undermined America’s ability to confront the North Korean threat:

    North Korea’s actions are taking place as the Obama Administration is failing to adequately resource its much-vaunted Asia pivot. Drawdowns in U.S. forces in Europe and Afghanistan are not shifting to address growing Asian threats–a case of robbing Peter to not pay Paul. The planned cuts to the U.S. military undercut Washington’s ability to fulfill its security commitments, even as North Korea and China are acting more assertively.

    As South Korea calls for action at U.N. Security Council, Klingner says there are several steps the United States can and should take in response to North Korea’s actions. First and foremost, the United States should submit a new U.N. Security Council resolution requiring more extensive sanctions on North Korea and enabling naval ships to intercept North Korea ships suspected of transporting precluded nuclear, missile, and conventional arms, components, or technology. In addition, Klingner writes, the United States should demand that all U.N. member nations fully implement U.N. resolutions requirements to prevent North Korea’s procurement and export of missile-related and WMD-related items and technology, and freeze the financial assets of any involved North Korean or foreign person, company, or government entity.

    There are more steps that Washington can take, such as independently imposing sanctions on any company, bank, or government agency complicit in North Korean proliferation, while calling leading other nations in efforts to do the same. Meanwhile, the United States should fully fund its defense requirements and maintain a robust presence in South Korea and Japan, while also continuing missile defense deployment and working with South Korea to deploy its own system.

    North Korea’s missile launch is a severe violation of several U.N. resolutions, and a failure to hold it accountable would undermine international attempts to keep the country’s behavior in check. The Obama Administration must take action now to neutralize and diminish the North Korean threat.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    20 Responses to Morning Bell: North Korea's Rogue Missile Launch

    1. Jim, CT says:

      Yet another call for "do as we say, not as we do" foreign policy.

      Just keep trying to convince yourself that they hate us for our freedom.

    2. zygote1331 says:

      What you chickenhawks fail to mention is that this failed test should make other potential buyers of NK product highly skeptical. In your zeal to bash Obama you also fail to take into account the Chinese unwillingness to resolve any divisions on the Korean Peninsula. The world has changed and we cannot act the role of policeman anymore.

    3. Curt Krehbiel says:

      "The Obama Administration must take action now to neutralize and diminish the North Korean threat."

      Ha. Highly unlikely.

    4. Bill says:

      Here's exclusive footage of the launch. http://i.imgur.com/gf8D2.gif

      But, seriously, the failure does show the sanctions have had some effect. They lacked the intellectual and material resources to conduct a proper launch.

    5. toledofan says:

      So, how long does it take to learn a lesson? I don't know how many times we've tried to stop the North from doing something like, launching a missle, stop making a nuclear bomb, killing their people, etc., and everytime we make some concessions they do it anyway. I mean the President vows seriuous consequences and that turns out to be lets talk or if you do it again, well you know the harsh consequences you'll face. Our foriegn policy is a joke.

    6. American101 says:

      The missle did exactly what they wanted it to do. The gathered plenty of data on the booster, but since it didn't really have a "weather satelite" on board, they couldn't allow it to actually get into orbit. That would have confirmed the lies that they were telling the world. So, what do you do in that case? Have an "accident", then pressure the world for more money to bribe them from continuing with their research. Are the politicians that stupid, or do they believe the people are?

    7. Gilbert Doan says:

      You expected a more responsible response from Obama?

      WHY??

    8. RogCol says:

      Now lets see if the administration stops the energy and food deliveries as a result of this action IAW the agree with NK. My bet is that they will use the missile failure as an excuse to continue with the deliveries. Again showing our weakness and lack of resolve.

    9. Ephraim J. Stockwell says:

      Anybody wondering about what they may be hiding?

    10. Bobbie says:

      What's Obama going to do about it besides address and let it go?

    11. boberic says:

      I am convinced that obama is too stupid to finally realize that non western cultures simply do not have the same regard for the truth as do we. This is not a condemnation but merely recognizing facts. And in fact even the US gov't did not honor agreement made with the Indians in our own history. But knowing that Iran and N.Korea will say or do anything so that they can get what they want goes over the head of our own Great Leader.

    12. Lonnie Albertson says:

      Kim Un is a little young for a beer summit

    13. Bobby Hawk says:

      Folks such as the ones here at Heritage continue to ignore what Both Y Bezmenov and A Golitsyn warned concerning the global communist movement. They continue to ignore the fact the Russia remains a communist nation as well as China and many other Asian and South American nations. Communism is growing and the soviet subversion of all nations as defined in the book new lies for old as well as several instructional courses by Y Bezmenov is almost complete.

      The Communists are no longer listening to the United Nations because they know there will soon be no need for the United Nations, once the Coup d'etat in the United States i complete. With Putin stepping into power at this specific juncture and with the Middle East being now consumed by political communist who are normalizing the state of crisis there, its clear to see that the United States and the actions being taken there are underway in order to achieve success.

      The ruler of North Korea is well aware of the coup d'etat of the communists and their efforts to overthrow the largest existing free nation in the world which is the United States. All of the communist nations are simply observing the final touches to global communism being implemented with the United States being the last nation to finalize communist assimilation. These smaller communist dictators such as the ones in North Korea are getting impatient and they are worried about their place in the global communist pecking order. It could be expected that smaller communist leaders would take bold actions in order to prove to communist world leaders their worth and therefore profess their order and ranking as part of the global communist block nations.

      • Stirling says:

        I have to agree with your points.. They have been slowly eroding our country from within. They realized they could not actively attack us from a military standpoint (years ago), so they decided to make us soft thru socialism and detaching us from all the foundations of this country.. Financially we are weaker, our military is being downsized, and we have a bloated government unwilling to recognize reality. (that it can happen here.)

        They see this administration as an enabler to their goals, and even shared beliefs that we are not worthy of what we have achived and need to be brought down to pay for our past transgressions against the world and it's people.

    14. jonhartz says:

      How can the Incompetent-In-Chief deal with this? The only long term solution is a new administration.

    15. Odie1956 says:

      I just wish it was us that knocked that thing out of the sky.

    16. If there are a lot of possible steps that the UN and US could take in this issue, then why do they let the missile launch to pursue?

      - Blake

    17. Donald DaCosta says:

      Does anyone at Heritage or elsewhere detect a growing sense of the imminent danger of a full blown WWIII? Iran going nuclear, North Korea perpetually rattling its cardboard sword with an increasingly powerful China lurking, waiting or at least threatening to pounce, the U.S. becoming increasingly irrelevant, engaged in two hopelessly failing, costly adventures in a totally intractable Middle East, an incompetent, intellectual ideologue as President and Commander in Chief of a weary, overtaxed military, the reemergence of the Russian Bear and the growing disrespect for America as the world's former and increasingly toothless, "super power."

      Whether or not America is in fact capable of mounting the massive counteroffensive that will be required and whether or not our allies will come along in a desperate effort at self preservation, Obama and our allies have worked very hard to portray themselves as weak kneed, politically correct appeasers, lovers of diplomacy. Obama believes he can just speak in mellifluous tones and charm the snake(s) into willing submission despite the complete failure of his best efforts, failures which his super ego can always be counted on to lay at the feet of his political adversaries, real and imagined.

      It has never been more urgent that Americans wake up, recognize and acknowledge what’s at stake as they waltz to Obama’s glorious tunes of soak the rich and give, give, give to a growing, reverent, uncritical, thoroughly indoctrinated, clueless entitlement class. The price for his utopian fantasy will be much more than what they’ve conjured up in their wildest dreams and we will all pay the price.

    18. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      North Korea's on the road to disintegration.

    19. Clearhead says:

      "If the punishment for a crime is not quickly carried out, the peoples's hearts are filled with schemes to do wrong." Let's just ignore, forgive and grant appeal after appeal to this regime and watch this age old maxim come to fruition.

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