Sunday, March 29, 2009

VIDEO Defense Secretary Says U.S. Not Prepared to Respond to North Korea Missile Launch

Yesterday, Japan announced it was sending naval ships equipped with missile interceptors to its northern coast in anticipation of North Korea's planned long-range missile test.

Earlier this week, while speaking to reporters during a visit to Mexico City, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned North Korea that firing a missile for any purpose would be a 'provocative act' that would have consequences.

Fox News reports:

The United States can do nothing to stop North Korea from breaking international law in the next 10 days by firing a missile that is unlikely to be shot down by the U.S. or its allies, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Sunday.

Appearing on "FOX News Sunday," Gates said North Korea "probably will" fire the missile, prompting host Chris Wallace to ask: "And there's nothing we can do about it?"

"No," Gates answered, adding, "I would say we're not prepared to do anything about it."

Last week, Admiral Timothy Keating, commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, said the U.S. is "fully prepared" to shoot down the missile. But Gates said such a response is unlikely.

"I think if we had an aberrant missile, one that was headed for Hawaii, that looked like it was headed for Hawaii or something like that, we might consider it," Gates said. "But I don't think we have any plans to do anything like that at this point."

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