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Pentagon Makes National Missile Defense System Operational

Bill Gertz reports in the Washington Times that the Pentagon has switched its missile defense system from "test" to "operational" in response to reports that North Korea is planning to test a long-range missile, a move that violates North Korea's ban on missile testing.

President Bush had telephoned more than a dozen heads of state regarding North Korea's launch preparations, Mr. Snow said. He did not identify the leaders who were called by Mr. Bush.


Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said the U.S. has made it clear to North Korea that the communist regime should abide by the missile-test ban it imposed in 1999 and reaffirmed in a pact with Japan in 2002.

"The United States has a limited missile defense system," Mr. Whitman said. He declined to say if the system is operational or whether it would be used.

"U.S. Northern Command continues to monitor the situation, and we are prepared to defend the country in any way necessary," said spokesman Michael Kucharek.

Any decision to shoot down a missile would be made at the highest command levels, which includes the president, secretary of defense and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

In Tokyo, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said Japan and South Korea are trying to avert a launch.

"Even now, we hope that they will not do this," Mr. Koizumi said. "But if they ignore our views and launch a missile, then the Japanese government, consulting with the United States, would have to respond harshly."

John R. Bolton, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said the Bush administration is consulting with other Security Council members on how to respond to a Taepodong launch.

In Australia, Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said North Korea's ambassador had been summoned and told any missile launch would result in "serious consequences."

U.S. intelligence officials said there are signs that the North Koreans recently began fueling the Taepodong with highly corrosive rocket fuel. Normally, when liquid fuel is loaded into missiles the missile must be fired within five to 10 days, or it must be de-fueled and the motors cleaned, a difficult and hazardous process.

Pyongyang has responded to US demands that it not launch the Taepodong-2 missile:

North Korea says it has full autonomy to conduct missile tests and outsiders do not have the right to criticize its plans, Kyodo News agency reported Tuesday.


The North Korean Foreign Ministry regards the issue of a long-range missile test launch as one "not bound by any statement such as the Pyongyang Declaration," a deputy chief-level researcher at the ministry's Asian Affairs Department told a group of Japanese reporters Tuesday.

The Japan Herald says North Korea appears to be still fueling the weapon:

"It is difficult to determine that fueling has been completed, judging from the number and size of the fuel cans that are seen on the site," the National Intelligence Service (NIS) official told lawmakers at a secret briefing of the National Assembly intelligence committee, according to lawmaker Chung Hyung-Keun who attended the session.


Ruling party spokesman Woo said senior government officials remained deeply concerned about preparations for any launch, which has triggered jitters in Asia and drawn sharp warnings from Washington and Tokyo.

North Korea was believed to be readying the launch of a Taepodong-2 missile that can carry a 1,000-kilogram warhead up to to 6,700 kilometres (4,200 miles), far enough to hit targets in Alaska and possibly Hawaii.


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Comments (54)

It will be a very interesti... (Below threshold)
serfer62:

It will be a very interesting next 2 weeks...

Cant we all play nice in th... (Below threshold)

Cant we all play nice in the sandbox.

This is an interesting deve... (Below threshold)
Jim:

This is an interesting development. Checkout what the salivating nutjobs at DU are saying about this.

Gads.......

Prediction number 1: N Kore... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Prediction number 1: N Korea will call Bush's bluff, to test our (1) resolve and (2) missle defense capabilities.

Prediction number 2: Bush will not launch defensive measures, in order to avoid demonstrating just how "limited" our "limited missile defense system" is.

I really hope I'm wrong on both counts.

Prediction # 3--Lee will go... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Prediction # 3--Lee will go over and kiss the runts ass and beg like a cur dog not to hurt him.

How could You tell how limi... (Below threshold)
914:

How could You tell how limited it is by stopping one missile? This could probably be done from a sub in the pacific,or any other multiple locations.

Little Kim may call Bushs bluff? Has'nt He been watching anything the last few years? Bush does not bluff!

Note to N. Korea.. Don't me... (Below threshold)
Mikey:

Note to N. Korea.. Don't mess with the rising sun or risk getting burned.
They have been sitting around for 50+ years and are itching to showcase to everyone their technological superiority. Oh, and if they actually believe Japan can't become a nuclear power by, say, lunchtime, they are mistaken.

Banzai.

Bush does bluff. You haven'... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Bush does bluff. You haven't been paying attention 914. That's what's gotten us into today's situation. Bush is still playing his cowboy games, but no one takes him seriously anymore.

He clearly stated just a few days ago that he will do whatever he thinks is right, despite the polls, so this isn't a case where you can blame american sentiment for N Korea and Iran's brovado. They just know he's a bluffing idiot.

Wake up! North Korea, Iran, and the rest of the world HAVE been paying attention. There is a mad man in North Korea with his finger on the nuclear button, and another one pimping us from Iran, and you guys just don't get it.

Looks like we have another ... (Below threshold)

Looks like we have another Madman with his finger on the "nukuler" bomb button. I hope he doesnt sneeze and accidentaly push the button. I wonder if Bush even realized that he ordered the War games in the Pacific, maybe he got Matthew Broderick to do it for him.

Lee can you give any exampl... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

Lee can you give any examples of Bush bluffing? Just repeating it over an over again isn't proof. I can't say he is not bluffing but the only time he ever came close was when he said he was going to back that one lady Supreme Court nomination and one can never be sure why she withdrew. Although I'm sure there are some who foolishly think that they absolutely know.

I see we have an invasion o... (Below threshold)
Cousin Dave:

I see we have an invasion of DUmmies today. It's interesting how you guys blame Bush for NK having a bomb. Perhaps you need to re-check your timeline on that.

As for NK's launching a long-range missile... hey, it's a free test for our GMD system! No, we won't engage it. But you can bet we'll have every sensor in range on it. It's the best thing we could ask for -- an actual enemy missile, but without a warhead (probably). Perfect test conditions.

Having just seen Him send t... (Below threshold)
914:

Having just seen Him send troops to afghanistan and Iraq, I hardly see it as a BLUFF to give ultimatums to a Munchgin who is breaking there own agreement..

These psychos have now reach a level of technology in their nuclear programs where they are feeling their oats..and they want everyone to know it.

Countries don't need nuclea... (Below threshold)

Countries don't need nuclear bombs. All we need it to get rid of dirty politicians who are not honest and truthful. A nuclear bomb will kill innocent people. Instead we need to all unite and get rid of evil people who plot and scam and spread propoganda messages against humanity.
I am sure all of you by now have started agreeing with me my dear friends. We all have the same blood- the red blood.

Don't you get it? Lee is on... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

Don't you get it? Lee is one of the enlightened ones and he comes here every day to rescue us!

I wish he would stop...my b... (Below threshold)
BChoinski:

I wish he would stop...my bullcrap trap is more then full.

Any idea where the Lollipop... (Below threshold)
914:

Any idea where the Lollipop kid got the nuke technology from? hmmmn.

MU any propaganda that is spread is done so by medias.. they have great power and responsibility but hardly ever goooutcomesd judgement as to the they cause/create, thus they fuel these dictators to spread their sick ideologies and try to use it in a political way. They are the enablers of all of this..

Muslim Unity - you could st... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

Muslim Unity - you could start by cleaning your own house: Iran, Syria, Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad...

Sorry the Italics di... (Below threshold)
914:

Sorry the Italics did not work MU.. but I think You can get the jist of it.

Wayne, Bush adopted a "stan... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Wayne, Bush adopted a "stand tough" policy against N Korea when he took office, in contravention to the diplomatic inroads that had been made. N. Korea stood up to Bush, but agreed to negotiate, and implimented a self-imposed moratorium on missle testing.

Now, seeing the U.S. stand tough against Iran, only to later fold (as a result of EU pressure which in turn is a direct result from Bush's failures in Iraq) that has only made N Korea bolder than before. This in turn will reinforce Iran's willingness to stand tough, and with each failed foreign policy move, the adminstration is moving us closer and closer to WW3.

Our enemies our escalating against us - or isn't that obvious?

From the UK Guardian

US-North Korean relations appeared to improve in the Clinton era but have become unstable ever since President Bush's inauguration. The then secretary of state, Colin Powell, promised to continue the Madeleine Albright dialogue with Pyongyang but was quickly disavowed by Bush: who then proceeded to include North Korea in his axis of evil. US policy eased last year when Christopher Hill was authorised to negotiate seriously in the six-party Beijing talks. Yet the agreement at those talks in September, which looked forward to normalisation of relations, has been undermined by a fresh neo-con drive, with renewed US sanctions and the branding of Pyongyang as a "criminal regime". This, says Pyongyang, is why it refuses to return to those talks as Washington demands.

They improved during the Cl... (Below threshold)
914:

They improved during the Clinton administration, why? because of appeasing the little one with money and weapons technology perhaps?

Lee"N. Korea stood u... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

Lee
"N. Korea stood up to Bush, but agreed to negotiate, and implimented a self-imposed moratorium on missle testing."

How does giving in to Bush by starting 6 way negotiation and a self-imposed missile testing translate to Bush backing down from a bluff? Bush still has a stand tough policy on both NK and Iran. He said he would exhaust diplomatic means first. Lib's complain because he has taken military actions but then complain when he doesn't and try to claim he is weak if he doesn't. The diplomatic efforts would be more successful if the Libs and the MSM wouldn't lie and tell the world that our military is stretch thin and are at their limit. If we have to go to Iran or NK, we would prove how big a lie that is. However, it would be preferable to not have too but the Libs and the MSM aren't helping any with their "anything to get a dig on Bush" attitude.

More today, from the BBC:</... (Below threshold)
Lee:

More today, from the BBC:

Weakened figure

It is astonishing how much the relationship between Europe and the United States has deteriorated since the French newspaper Le Monde declared after the attacks of 9/11: "We are all Americans now."

From the high days of that sympathy, Mr Bush has become an unpopular American president in Europe.

Despite a recent bounce in Iraq - with the new government and the death of the al-Qaeda in Iraq leader, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi - he is a weakened figure.

The end of an era is in sight, and a power struggle is under way in the administration with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice - who will be with Mr Bush in Europe - increasingly getting the upper hand as she reasserts the power of diplomacy over the power of arms.

Bush failed kids. His cowboy antics resulted in a dismal foreign policy failure, and our country is a world disgrace because of it.

Wow Lee, people ask for you... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

Wow Lee, people ask for you to give examples of Bush bluffing and instead we get European rhetoric about perceived foreign policy failures and trumped up internal cabinet struggles.

Nice job backing up your original statements. Maybe Bush could make some diplomatic inroads with Iran by just helping them complete their nuclear weapons program, ala Clinton's diplomatic inroads with NK.

Bush failed kids. His cowbo... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Bush failed kids. His cowboy antics resulted in a dismal foreign policy failure, and our country is a world disgrace because of it.
--------------------------------------------------
It is no surprise that Lee is still kissing to the corrupt French gov who has been willing to sell out the poor people of Iraq for Saddam 's oil money. It is sad that the left wants the US to kiss up to the bad guys in the world. The Western Europeans as a whole (with a few exception) are spoiled kids who enjoyed the free military protection from the US while sniping and slandering its protector. It is exactly the same behavior as the left in this country. LEe should have condemned this type of corrupt European diplomacy. But he didn't, but he was quick to slander the US military. IT is disgraceful.

Please remember Clinton was... (Below threshold)

Please remember Clinton was like by most people on earth unlike Geroge Bush. No matter where on earth you go people hate Bush. Why is that? because of the lies, and also because of him so many innocent people die everyday in Iraq and Afghanistan. I would not like to repeat as everybody by now knows the truth.
We should clean all houses together. If my house has something bad which is being produced by your house, what do you think I should clean first?
It is good to see that more and more people ar eunderstanding, that we need to integrate the Americans into our world as friends and family.

Lee, quoting the (freaking)... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

Lee, quoting the (freaking) Guardian: "US-North Korean relations appeared to improve in the Clinton era but have become unstable ever since President Bush's inauguration."

kinda like going back to 1940 we finding THIS comment from the Guardian:
"British-German relations appeared to improve in the Chamberlain era but have become unstable ever since Prime Minister Churchill took over and began ordering that German bombers raining death on London be shot down."

yup...NOTHING pisses a blackmailing madman off like refusing to continue paying blackmail!!

Please remember Clinton was... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Please remember Clinton was like by most people on earth unlike Geroge Bush. No matter where on earth you go people hate Bush. Why is that? because of the lies, and also because of him so many innocent people die everyday in Iraq and Afghanistan. I would not like to repeat as everybody by now knows the truth.
--------------------------------------------------
I can tell you from first hand experience: this is an illusion or a lie. I guess the Iraqui people would love to be killed and tortured by Saddam Hussein. If America is that bad, then simply move to a Muslim country to live. Why do you want to live an infidel land with a lying leader as you claimed? Just go to any other country, it would be better than America, right?

THe majority people of Iraq are thankful for the AMericans being there freeing them from the cruel rule of Saddam Hussein.

Oh, please, Muslim Unity, O... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

Oh, please, Muslim Unity, Osama bin Laden, Mullah Omar, Sadam Hussein, the mad mullahs of Iran, the leaders of Syrian, and the murderers of Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad were not caused by, or are the responsibility of, George W. Bush.

And yeah, sure, CLinton was liked, becausehe didn't do a damn thing. He looked evil in the eye...and looked the other way.

Bush looks evil in the eye and wants to wipe it out. And that scares the crap out of people, including bigoted jerks like the trolls that infest this board. The evil is eminating from those who call on your faith, Muslim Unity. The ones who saw off heads, detonate bombs in crowded marketplaces, torture for pure pleasure, continually threaten the anihilation of an entire counrty, and keep their people in squalor and ignorance.

But don't you DARE blame this on Bush because people don't like him. He's forcing the world to confront evil, not embrace it.


Big Mo, Of course t... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Big Mo,
Of course the bad guys wouldn't like Bush and they think they represent the world. Sorry that I have to keep coming back to the communists. They always told us that they care about the poor/oppressed of the world, but we know better.

MU Wrong again! Clin... (Below threshold)
914:

MU
Wrong again! Clinton was not loved by millions of people in every state in this country..sorry but thats just a fact!

More people are murdered in this country everday by far then die in Iraq,time to check Your perspective tunnel vision on world violence all leading to Bush.

You need to "integrate" into reality..alright no more Troll feeding..

No need to be alarmed. Inte... (Below threshold)
Tim:

No need to be alarmed. Intelligence reports say the missle is aimed at a Kia dealership in West Virginia.

It is so very hard for Left... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

It is so very hard for Leftists, One-Worlders, Dimocrats (ok...it's the same folks) to let go of the MYTH that everything was wonderful in the world while Clinton was Prez.

The LameStreamMedia did everything it could to make it seem so. We know for an admitted FACT, for example, that CNN conspired with Saddam to cover up the menace he was once again becoming.

The LSM also helped sweep the 193 World Trade Center bombing under the carpet as a simple case of domestic mayhem. And Clinton helped, of course, by limiting the investiagtion and jurisdiction to the NYPD and FBI.

The Cole, Somalia, etc, etc, etc...are all examples of the FACT that we were already AT WAR...and a war that was already officially DECLARED by alQueda!!

We were sound asleep...and some folks LIKED it that way.

Even on the economic front. The "Clinton Economy" was a freaking Hollywood BACKLOT!! All facade...not substance! Now we have a REAL economy...but the LSM paints THIS one terrible, and paints the speculation-based Internet Bubble economy of the late 1990s as great!!

Geesh!

Hahaha... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Hahaha

That laugh was about Tim's ... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

That laugh was about Tim's comment by the way.

Real Economy?You mea... (Below threshold)

Real Economy?
You mean American Flags "Made in China" and a huge deficit. Rising interest rate? I assume you don't know much about 'economy'
Look fellows everytime I try to chave an intelligent civil discussion you people shoot out random insults like troll and such.
I am happy evil men like Zarqawi are dead, but it is not enough. The main person is still alive.
We all know who the main person behind this plot is.
I know everytime somebody is faced with the truth, they start shouting because they think their loud voices will kill the turth and peace.
Brothers and Sisters Saddam was also an evil puppet of Bush, who was hated by everybody.

MU are You threatening the ... (Below threshold)
914:

MU are You threatening the U.S. president? cause if You are You better start packing..

blow it out your *ss 914. W... (Below threshold)
Lee:

blow it out your *ss 914. What are you, 12 years old?

Nothing new from MU...<br /... (Below threshold)
scsiwuzzy:

Nothing new from MU...
Bush is the devil/satan/shaitan, and all evil flow from him.

well, actually MU was</b... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

well, actually MU was threatening the President...and Lee is perfectly ok with that.

Which pretty much sums up the Left.

MUI don't hate Bus... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

MU

I don't hate Bush and at least 50% of the voting public doesn't hate Bush. I talk to many people from other countries some hate Bush some don't but I suppose those who "don't" don't count in your book. MU you are so blinded by your hate that you can't see the truth. To you everyone hates Bush regardless of any evidence to the contrary. American flags made in China have been around a long time before Bush.

LEEI am happy evi... (Below threshold)
914:

LEE
I am happy evil men like Zarqawi are dead, but it is not enough, the main person is still alive.
We all know who the main person behind this plot
is?

ahh No, but apparently You and lee know something We dont..

Sorry that was for MU..... (Below threshold)
914:

Sorry that was for MU..

MUYou speak with for... (Below threshold)
tblubrd:

MU
You speak with forked tongue.

I am happy evil men like Zarqawi are dead, but it is not enough. The main person is still alive.
We all know who the main person behind this plot is.

So who is the main person? You never said and it seems that imaginations are running wild.

Lee

You blew any convincing argument by quoting the two most liberal European news outlets - The Guardian and BBC. How lame. Find something in either publication that thinks any foreign policy in the US has ever been good.
By the way, Lee, your response to 914 was typical of the liberal left. When all else fails and you're still wrong, stick out your tongue. That really makes a statement.

By the way, Lee, your re... (Below threshold)
Lee:

By the way, Lee, your response to 914 was typical of the liberal left. When all else fails and you're still wrong, stick out your tongue. That really makes a statement.

and 914's comment that prompted my response was typical of the Republican answer out of Washington

"MU are You threatening the U.S. president? cause if You are You better start packing..

That's the kind of knee-jerk cowboy response that has allowed Iran and N Korea to put us over the barrel.

Wise up guys - the wild west is over. It's time to get a new schtick - John Wayne passed away years ago - and Ronald Reagan -- the last GREAT cowboy who actually had the huevos to pull off detente with a gun - is long gone as well. Bush is a two-bit tin horn with a big gun, and the world now knows it.

Oh, where oh where is Peter... (Below threshold)
mesablue:

Oh, where oh where is Peter Sellers when you need him?

Sounds like someone hit old... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Sounds like someone hit old pucker puss lee lee's nerve. lol

Lee Sorry about the ... (Below threshold)
914:

Lee
Sorry about the delay, some terrorist leftwing bloggers knocked out our internet service for about 5 hours.

I am not anywhere near Washington and Im not a "cowboy". I also did not insinuate that Bush is the biggest threat to the world after Zark and needed to still be eliminated? that was good old peace loving Muslim Unrest that said that..

See ya in the funnie papers.

Dear Lee,They forg... (Below threshold)

Dear Lee,

They forget that we are humans and have the same red blood. We need more people to be understanding instead of gun weliding cowboys who use threats like barbarians. It is easier to solve problems with your brain than with your barbaric brawns.
It is nice to know that most people in the world are like you.

Muslim Uninity - was your l... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

Muslim Uninity - was your last post your attempt at comedy? I thank God that people like Lee are no where near positions of authority.

And sorry, but the real barbarians are those who use your religion as justification to saw off heads, blow up innocent women and children in pizzarias, blow up commuter buses, threaten genocide on Israel, throw political enemies in plastic shreders, hide women in huge potato sacks and beat them for showing a little ankle, murder women for defending themselves against rapists, drop homosexuals off cliffs, hijack airplanes and fly them into skyscrapers, and so on.

Don't you DARE call Bush a barbarian for standing up to such evil, you bastard.

CLEAN UP YOUR OWN HOUSE OR WE WILL CONTINUE TO DO IF FOR YOU.

Muslim Unrest"I... (Below threshold)
914:

Muslim Unrest

"It is easier to solve problems with Your brain than with Your barbaric brawns"

Then why does Your religion do just the opposite? I guess Your a little short in the brains department ehh..?

Hey MU...I shat out a turd ... (Below threshold)
moseby:

Hey MU...I shat out a turd this morning that looked just like allah....corn for the eyes and a peanut for the nose. Oof!...it reeeeally stank too.

You forget Allah is God, an... (Below threshold)

You forget Allah is God, and God is Allah. Just the language is different. Allah has created all of you, and the univerese. If not for me at least for yourself do not say such things. Because you will be punished by the forces. I am assuming that the evil people have brainwashed you into such ideas.
The evil children of Satan who planned Spetember 11 and the attck on Iraq are all the same. Brothers and sisters learn from the people who have more expeirence and knowledge. It should be a pleasure for you to recive the knowldege from us at Muslim Unity.

Jesus is God not Allah.. a... (Below threshold)
914:

Jesus is God not Allah.. apparently someone has done a very good job brain washing You..

Who exactly planned 911 MU?? PLEASE TELL ME.. I NEED TO KNOW..

Sorry, but your moon god Al... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

Sorry, but your moon god Allah is not my God. I believe in Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Peter and Paul.




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