"It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama" -- Joe "The Prophet" Biden said last year on the campaign trail.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates told "Fox News Sunday" last week that the United States is not prepared to respond to a North Korean missile launch. He says we 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.
Last weekend, 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.
Last 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.
Just a few days ago, Clinton said Japan had a right to defend itself against North Korea.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The State Department says that North Korea has launched a rocket, following through on its promise of a launch despite international criticism.
State Department spokesman Fred Lash confirmed the launch, saying it occurred at 10:30 p.m. EDT Saturday.
"We look on this as a provocative act," said Lash.
North Korea had informed international authorities that it planned to launch a rocket sometime between Saturday and Wednesday in order to put a satellite into orbit.
But the U.S., South Korea, Japan and others suspect it is a cover for testing a long-range missile for the North, which has nuclear weapons. Leaders from those countries had warned Pyongyang not to proceed with the planned rocket launch.
They fear such a test could be a first step toward putting a nuclear warhead on a missile capable of reaching Alaska and beyond.