N. Korea launches missile; Obama shows us what smart diplomacy is

So, the inevitable happened: North Korea launched a missile. Of course, they’re claiming it was just a “satellite” being launched into orbit. Right.

North Korea defied international warnings and sent a rocket hurtling over the Pacific on Sunday, a launch President Barack Obama called an illicit test of the regime’s long-range missile technology that threatened the security of nations “near and far.”

Obama and European Union leaders meeting in Prague condemned the move and said North Korea’s dangerous defiance demanded an international response. Diplomats at the United Nations scheduled an emergency Security Council session for later Sunday to discuss what Obama called a clear violation of U.N. resolutions.

South Korea and the U.S. military disputed North Korea’s claim of a successful launch into space, saying the rocket fell into the ocean in stages.

“North Korea broke the rules once more by testing a rocket that could be used for a long-range missile,” Obama said. “This provocation underscores the need for action — not just this afternoon at the U.N. Security Council, but in our determination to prevent the spread of these weapons.”

He said the launch threatened the security of countries “near and far.”

North Korea says it successfully sent its “Kwangmyongsong-2” satellite into orbit as part of its peaceful bid to develop its space program. The claim comes just days before North Korea’s authoritarian leader, Kim Jong Il, presides over the first session of the country’s new parliament in his first major public appearance since reportedly suffering a stroke last August.

The U.S. and South Korea say no satellite or other object reached orbit Sunday, and joined Japan and other countries in accusing the North of using the launch to test the delivery system for its long-range missile technology — a step toward eventually mounting a nuclear weapon on a missile capable of reaching Alaska and beyond.

“North Korea’s development of a ballistic missile capability, regardless of the stated purpose of this launch, is aimed at providing it with the ability to threaten countries near and far with weapons of mass destruction,” a joint EU-U.S. statement said.

Liftoff took place at 11:30 a.m. (0230 GMT) from the coastal Musudan-ri launch pad in northeastern North Korea, the South Korean and U.S. governments said. The multistage rocket hurtled toward the Pacific, reaching Japanese airspace within seven minutes. Warships did not activate interceptors because no debris appeared to hit its territory, officials in Tokyo said.

As of right now, we have missile defense systems that can protect us. But seing as how Obama’s position on missile defense keeps changing, who knows how long that protection will last? And who says that he’d even be willing to employ him? His laughable reaction to North Korea’s missile launching was to… issue a strongly worded declaration condemning it and asking them not to do it again.

Seriously. And his first international crisis test comes just one day after he asked for a worldwide end to nuclear weapons.

Here is Obama’s statement:

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.

Wow… North Korea defies a UN resolution, and Obama’s response is to ask them not to do it again… or else he’ll be forced to go down there and actually (GASP!!) talk to them. And don’t forget that he’ll be threatening North Korea with being pushed out of the Popular Countries Club. Apparently, Kim Jong Il is really concerned with being accepted by Obama and his buddies in Europe.

This is Obama’s version of tough, smart diplomacy? Really? North Korea defies a UN resolution, passed by the most important organization EVAH according to liberals, and then we turn around and show how utterly useless UN resolutions are by doing nothing more than scolding someone who defied a UN resolution?

Of course, we should do nothing more than be diplomatic. We have to talk to Kim Jong Il. We can’t push too hard.

And meanwhile, Kim Jong Il is laughing his ass off because he knows he got off scot free. Yet we’re supposed to trust that Obama can and will take on an enemy that poses a serious threat to us, even though he’s apparently willing to do nothing more except issue a sternly worded statement. Consider that 57% of Americans apparently favor a military response to North Korea’s missile launch, in order to eliminate their missile launching capabilities. Only 15% oppose a military response. And it’s not just Republicans either — 52% of Democrats and 54% of Independents favor it as well.

How many of you are missing that cowboy Bush’s Reign of Terror yet?

If we manage to make it through the next four years without a single attack on US soil, it will be a miracle.

Cross-posted from Cassy’s blog. Stop by for more original commentary, or follow her on Twitter!

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