Sunday, April 5, 2009
North Korea's tests missile, Obama gets angry
While domestic policy changes are unfolding daily, U.S. residents hoping for a about-face on foreign policy issues may have to wait a little longer. President Barack Obama took a step back into the Cold War-era on Sunday, calling for nuclear-armed North Korea to be "punished" for firing a test missile into the Pacific Ocean. Obama, speaking in Prague on his first European trip since assuming the presidency in January, called the missile test a "provocation" that violated international norms, according to the New York Times. Obama called for a "strong international response" to the firing of the missile, which fell harmlessly in the Pacific Ocean a few hours before Obama's speech before 20,000 in Prague. "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,” Obama said. “Rules must be binding. Violations must be punished. Words must mean something.” Obama said blocking North Korea's pursuit of missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons was part of his effort to limit the spread of such technology. He said he was still pursuing a missile defense syestem for Europe, including Poland and Czechoslovakia, but linked it to Iran's pursuit of nuclear weaponry. "As long as the threat from Iran persists, we will go forward with a missile defense system that is cost-effective and proven,” Obama said. Russia is opposed to the missile defense, which was proposed by former president George W. Bush. Here's hoping the Cold War is not going to be defrosted.