Monday, April 6, 2009

Franks Urges Administration to Intercept North Korean Missile

Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-02) made the following remarks today regarding North Korea's pending missile launch:

“It is highly likely the DPRK, in violation of two different Security Council resolutions, will launch a long-range missile within the next 24-72 hours that could potentially threaten the American homeland. The United States must ensure we are unequivocal about defending Americans should we be forced to make a decision to intercept a missile directed toward our homeland, troops or allies that may or may not be a satellite launch. As the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Gen. James Cartwright, recently noted, space launch technologies “are compatible with an intercontinental ballistic missile-type capability.” We already know North Korea’s Taepo Dong missile has a range that spans to the U.S. West Coast.

“Meanwhile, President Obama has sent mixed signals to the world related to the United States' response to North Korea's aggressive behavior. Blustering by belligerent nations must not intimidate the Obama Administration or deter the President from authorizing the moral and Constitutional response from our government. Our national missile defense system is capable of interdicting a simple threat from North Korea. To fail to make this system operational, should the North Korean’s demand that we do, would be profoundly negligent. I strongly urge President Obama to authorize the interception of any missile the Department of Defense determines is on course with the American homeland.”

Administration officials have confirmed North Korea has loaded a Taepodong missile on its east coast launch pad. The launch is supposed to occur between the fourth and eighth of April. The North Korean government has warned the world it will counterstrike if any country should move to intercept what Pyongyang is calling a “peaceful satellite launch.” The official Korean Central News Agency reportedly quoted a spokesman of the General Staff of the Korean People’s Army as saying, “We will retaliate (over) any act of intercepting our satellite for peaceful purposes with prompt counterstrikes by the most powerful military means.” He added, “Shooting our satellite for peaceful purposes will precisely mean a war.”

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