Appearing on the White House steps, Obama said that its latest nuclear underground test and subsequent test firings of short-range ground to air missiles "pose a grave threat to the peace and security of the world and I strongly condemn their reckless action."
It was his second statement within hours of the tests, the latest in a number of nuclear actions that Obama said "endanger the people of Northeast Asia." He called it "a blatant violation of international law" and said that it contradicted North Korea's "own prior commitments." Obama had released a written statement chastising the North Koreans in the early morning hours of Monday."
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Is Obama being hypocritical when the United States has recently suggesteed it is going to test a U.S.-based strategic anti-missile system in the near future? According to the website: http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2009_01-02/missiledefense,
" The interceptor model slated for installation in Poland is scheduled to be flight-tested for the first time late this summer (2009). Current plans also call for testing it against a target twice in 2010. Congress has prohibited deployment of the interceptor model abroad until it is certified by the secretary of defense as passing operationally realistic testing.
The proposed interceptor is derived from the U.S. ground-based midcourse defense (GMD) interceptor. Instead of three rocket boosters like the GMD system, the interceptor posited for Poland is to be powered by just two rocket boosters due to the shorter time frames and distances for a possible missile intercept over Europe compared with defending the United States. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) officials express few doubts that the untested model will perform as intended given its similarity to the more mature GMD interceptor. Twenty-two of those interceptors have been stationed in Fort Greely, Alaska; another three are installed at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California."
"The agency's confidence presumably grew Dec. 5 with the GMD system's interception of a mock warhead more than 200 kilometers above the Pacific Ocean. The target missile flew south out of Kodiak Island, Alaska, while the interceptor was fired from Vandenberg about 19 minutes after the target's launch. Ten minutes later, the interceptor's exoatmospheric kill vehicle (EKV), a roughly 60-kilogram device that uses radar data and its own onboard sensors to hone in on its quarry, collided with the mock warhead."
"Lieutenant General Patrick O'Reilly, director of the MDA, described the experiment that day to reporters as "the largest, most complex test we have ever done." Similarly, an agency spokesperson, Rick Lehner, told Arms Control Today Jan. 5 that the trial was the "most operationally realistic test to date."
The test, however, was not as taxing as originally planned. Along with releasing a mock warhead, the target missile was supposed to activate unspecified countermeasures, but it failed to do so. "