North Korea launched a long range missile, which has tongues wagging and brought an immediate statement from Barack Obama early this morning.
North Korea launched the rocket at 11:30 a.m. local time, or 10:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, said the office of the South Korean president, Lee Myung-bak. Early reports from the Japanese prime minister’s office indicated that the three-stage rocket appeared to launch successfully, with the first stage falling into the Sea of Japan and the second stage into the Pacific. South Korea vowed a “stern and resolute” response to the North’s “reckless act.”
South Korean officials, after studying the rocket’s trajectory, said it appeared to have been configured to thrust a satellite into orbit, as the North had claimed.
No debris was reported to have fallen on Japanese land. There has been no confirmation of whether the third and final stage of the launching took place.
But what may have mattered most to North Korea was simply demonstrating that it had the ability to launch a multistage rocket that could travel thousands of miles.
Obama's full statement below:
North Korea’s development and proliferation of ballistic missile technology pose a threat to the northeast Asian region and to international peace and security. The launch today of a Taepo-dong 2 missile was a clear violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1718, which expressly prohibits North Korea from conducting ballistic missile-related activities of any kind. With this provocative act, North Korea has ignored its international obligations, rejected unequivocal calls for restraint, and further isolated itself from the community of nations.
We will immediately consult with our allies in the region, including Japan and the Republic of Korea, and members of the U.N. Security Council to bring this matter before the Council. I urge North Korea to abide fully by the resolutions of the U.N. Security Council and to refrain from further provocative actions.
Preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery is a high priority for my administration. The United States is fully committed to maintaining security and stability in northeast Asia and we will continue working for the verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula through the Six-Party Talks. The Six-Party Talks provide the forum for achieving denuclearization, reducing tensions, and for resolving other issues of concern between North Korea, its four neighbors, and the United States. North Korea has a pathway to acceptance in the international community, but it will not find that acceptance unless it abandons its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and abides by its international obligations and commitments.
Security Council Resolution 1718 was passed in 2006 to force North Korea to halt nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches, but sanctions have been suspended or loosely applied since North Korea joined disarmament talks.
Although Obama aides have made it clear that he will push the issue of more sanctions against North Korea for this act of defiance, the last sanctions clearly didn't work worth a damn.
South Korea has already asked for more sanctions. In Seoul, Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan stated "It is common sense to go back into a sanctions mode after North Korea's rocket launch."
Theoretically the missile launched by North Korea, could reach Alaska or Hawaii.
The little thug Kim Jong-Il has done it and now we will see if the international leaders respond with more than just words or watered down resolutions guaranteed to be nothing more that attempts to make the public think something is being done.
Resolutions with no teeth do nothing as we have seen with previous resolutions against North Korea as well as the pathetic resolutions against Iran.