U.S. Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon
[Rep. Buck McKeon] – Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-Santa Clarita), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, made the following statement on the launch of a ballistic missile by North Korea.
“I join the American people in condemning North Korea’s violation of UN Resolutions, and its agreement with the U.S., banning launches of this kind. When an isolated regime with nuclear weapons and ballistic missile capabilities flaunts agreements so cavalierly, America and its allies must have no doubts about our own defenses. Predictably, diplomatic overtures with North Korea have failed once more, and now an avowed enemy of freedom, with a new and unpredictable leadership, possesses nuclear weapons and is testing their capability to strike long-range targets, including the American homeland. It appears North Korea has continued to pursue its efforts to strike the American people, while at the same time President Obama has degraded U.S. national missile defense. I call on the President to work with me and my committee to restore the investments in our national missile defenses as a prudent and necessary measure to protect the homeland.”
Northcom Acknowledges North Korean Missile Launch, Failure
By Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, April 12, 2012 – North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command officials acknowledged today that U.S. systems detected and tracked a launch of a North Korean TaepoDong-2 missile at 6:39 p.m. EDT.
The missile was tracked on a southerly launch over the Yellow Sea, according to a statement issued from Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado.
Initial indications are that the missile’s first stage fell into the sea 102.5 miles west of Seoul, South Korea, the statement says. The other two stages were assessed to have failed and no debris fell on land, it says.
“At no time were the missile or resulting debris a threat,” it says.
“Despite the failure of its attempted missile launch,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a statement tonight, “North Korea’s provocative action threatens regional security, violates international law and contravenes its own recent commitments.”
The action is not surprising given North Korea’s pattern of aggressive behavior, he added, but any missile activity by North Korea is of concern to the international community.
“The United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations, and is fully committed to the security of our allies in the region,” Carney said.
President Barack Obama “has been clear that he is prepared to engage constructively with North Korea,” the press secretary said, adding that the president “has also insisted that North Korea live up to its own commitments, adhere to its international obligations and deal peacefully with its neighbors.”
North Korea will only show strength and find security, Carney added, “by abiding by international law, living up to its obligations, and by working to feed its citizens, to educate its children, and to win the trust of its neighbors.”
A spokesman for the Korean Committee for Space Technology announced March 16 that North Korea would launch a long-range Unha-3 rocket between April 12 and 16.
He said the rocket would carry a North Korean-made Kwangmyongsong-3 polar-orbiting observation satellite to mark the 100th birthday of the late President Kim Il Sung on April 15.