“North Korea’s launch of a Taepodong-2 ballistic missile on Saturday is provocative and demonstrates a clear and present threat to the U.S. and U.S. forces and allies in the Pacific region. It violates UN Security Council Resolution 1718 and was done in defiance of numerous international warnings.
“This launch demonstrates North Korea’s continued focus on developing long-range ballistic missiles that have the potential to reach Guam, Hawaii, and the western U.S. With their history of ballistic missile and nuclear proliferation, we must be vigilant in seeing that North Korea does not proliferate this technology to Iran and others.
“It is important that the U.S. broaden its efforts to address the security challenges posed by North Korea. The U.S. must leverage all the tools of national power at its disposal, including diplomacy and the Six-Party talks aimed at denuclearizing the Korean peninsula, economic sanctions, engagement with other influential nations, and continued investment in the protective capabilities that missile defense provides.
“On a related note, I want to commend the men and women of the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC) in Dayton, Ohio who are providing our national leaders with immediate assessments of this launch. Much of their work is classified so they often go unnoticed in the district, but members of Congress, our national leaders, and military commanders rely on their expertise and analysis to make informed policy and defense decisions.”