Military News

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Obama Condemns North Korean Missile Launch

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

April 5, 2009 - In Europe today, President Barack Obama strongly criticized last night's missile launch by North Korea. Yesterday evening, the North Koreans launched a three-stage missile that failed to achieve orbit and fell back into the Pacific Ocean without incident, according to the U.S. military.

Obama was in the Czech Republic today when he was informed of the missile launch. Obama told an audience in Prague that the North Korean missile launch was provocative and had violated UN international security rules.

"Once again, by testing a rocket that could be used for long-range missiles, this provocation underscores the need for action, not just this afternoon at the UN Security Council, but in our determination to prevent the spread of these weapons," Obama said.

"Rules must be binding; violations must be punished; words must mean something," Obama continued. "The world must stand together to prevent the spread of these weapons. Now is the time for a strong international response."

According to news reports, the UN Security Council has scheduled an emergency meeting this afternoon to discuss the North Korean missile launch issue.

The missile passed over Japan but jettisoned no debris there, according to the U.S. Northern Command news release issued today.

The missile's flight path had presented no threat to North America or Hawaii, the release stated.

The Taepodong 2 missile's first stage fell into the Sea of Japan; the rest of the stages and the payload, reportedly a communications satellite, landed in the Pacific Ocean, according to the release. The North Koreans say the rocket had successfully placed the satellite into orbit, according to news reports.

During his visit to Europe, President Barack Obama reportedly said in Prague after hearing of the launch that North Korea's missile launch was provocative and violated UN international security rules, according to news reports.

Any North Korean missile launch would have a negative impact on efforts to lessen tensions in the region, a U.S. State Department official told reporters in the days leading up to last night's launch.

The North Koreans have insisted that their Taepodong 2 missile launch is for peaceful purposes. North Korea's neighbors South Korea and Japan were alarmed at the possibility of another launch. The North Koreans conducted an unsuccessful missile launch in 2006 when their rocket briefly passed over Japanese territory.

Another North Korean missile launch "would be counterproductive" to soothing tensions in the region, U.S. State Department spokesman Robert Wood told reporters at an April 2 news conference in Washington, D.C.

International diplomats have employed Six-Party Talks to persuade North Korea to jettison its nuclear weapons program. Arms control experts believe that a nuclear-armed North Korea would ratchet up tensions and prompt a nuclear-arms race across the region.

UN Leader Denounces North Korean Missile Launch

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

April 5, 2009 - The UN's top official denounced last evening's missile launch by North Korea, according to a news release issued by the UN today. "Given the volatility in the region, as well as a stalemate in interaction among the concerned parties, such a launch is not conducive to efforts to promote dialogue, regional peace or stability," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement released today.

The secretary general cited the North Korean missile launch as a violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1718, which prohibits North Korea from making such launches or conducting nuclear-weapons research. Some observers believe that North Korea had already tested a nuclear-type weapon in 2006.

The UN is scheduled to meet in emergency session this afternoon to discuss the North Korea missile-launch issue.

In his statement issued today, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said it is imperative to persuade North Korea to re-engage in the Six-Party discussions.

All countries involved in the negotiations, including North Korea, the UN Secretary-General stated, should "focus on ways to build confidence and restore dialogue, including the early resumption of the Six-Party Talks."

Yesterday evening, the North Koreans launched a three-stage missile that failed to achieve orbit and fell into the Pacific Ocean without incident, according to the U.S. military.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama was in the Czech Republic when he was informed of the missile launch. Obama told an audience in Prague today that the North Korean missile launch was provocative and had violated UN international security rules.

"Once again, by testing a rocket that could be used for long-range missiles, this provocation underscores the need for action, not just this afternoon at the UN Security Council, but in our determination to prevent the spread of these weapons," Obama said.

"Rules must be binding; violations must be punished; words must mean something," Obama continued. "The world must stand together to prevent the spread of these weapons. Now is the time for a strong international response."

The North Korean Taepodong 2 missile had passed over Japan but jettisoned no debris there, according to a U.S. Northern Command news release issued today.

The missile's flight path had presented no threat to North America or Hawaii, the Northcom release stated.

The missile's first stage fell into the Sea of Japan; the rest of the stages and the payload, reportedly a communications satellite, landed in the Pacific Ocean, according to the Northcom release. The North Koreans say the rocket had successfully placed the satellite into orbit, according to news reports.

Any North Korean missile launch would have a negative impact on efforts to lessen tensions in the region, a U.S. State Department official told reporters in the days leading up to last night's launch.

The North Koreans have insisted that their Taepodong 2 missile launch is for peaceful purposes. North Korea's neighbors South Korea and Japan were alarmed at the possibility of another launch. The North Koreans conducted an unsuccessful missile launch in 2006 when their rocket briefly passed over Japanese territory.

Another North Korean missile launch "would be counterproductive" to soothing tensions in the region, U.S. State Department spokesman Robert Wood told reporters at an April 2 news conference in Washington, D.C.

International diplomats have employed negotiations, known as the Six-Party Talks, between the United States, South Korea, Japan, China, North Korea and Russia to persuade North Korea to jettison its nuclear weapons program. Arms control experts believe that a nuclear-armed North Korea would ratchet up tensions and prompt a nuclear-arms race across the region.

Obama: North Korean Missile Launch 'Creates Instability'

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

April 5, 2009 - The North Koreans "have taken a provocative action," President Obama told reporters in Prague today. He said the North Koreans' April 4, three-stage missile launch "creates instability in their region, (and) around the world."

"If they want to take an appropriate path to rejoin the international community and break out of their isolation, that's available to them," Obama said. "That's not the path they're taking right now. And, we intend to work with the international community to deliver a strong message."

Obama told an audience this morning that the North Korean missile launch was provocative and had violated UN international security rules.

"Once again, by testing a rocket that could be used for long-range missiles, this provocation underscores the need for action, not just this afternoon at the UN Security Council, but in our determination to prevent the spread of these weapons," Obama said.

"Rules must be binding; violations must be punished; words must mean something," Obama continued. "The world must stand together to prevent the spread of these weapons. Now is the time for a strong international response."

Also today in Prague, Obama announced his intention to work for the worldwide removal of all nuclear weapons.

"Just as we stood for freedom in the 20th century, we must stand together for the right of people everywhere to live free from fear in the 21st century," he said. "And as nuclear power -- as a nuclear power, as the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act.

The North Korean missile passed over Japan but jettisoned no debris there, according to the U.S. Northern Command news release issued today. The missile failed to achieve orbit and fell back into the Pacific Ocean without incident.

The missile's flight path had presented no threat to North America or Hawaii, the release stated.

According to news reports, the UN Security Council has scheduled an emergency meeting this afternoon to discuss the North Korean missile launch issue.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today also signaled his displeasure with North Korea's missile launch.

"Given the volatility in the region, as well as a stalemate in interaction among the concerned parties, such a launch is not conducive to efforts to promote dialogue, regional peace or stability," the Secretary-General said in a statement released today.

The secretary general cited the North Korean missile launch as a violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1718, which prohibits North Korea from making such launches or conducting nuclear-weapons research.

Some observers believe that North Korea had tested a nuclear-type weapon in 2006.