While it has amounted to nothing more than mere populist posturing and jawboning, with the occasional entertaining (fabricated) clip of a submarine missile launch thrown in for good measure, North Korea's launches of ballistic missiles have succeeded in provoking anger among the international community, which has so far been unable (or unwilling) to provide an adequate response to Kim Jong Il's periodic "shows of strength", mostly for domestic consumption.
However, Obama now appears ready to respond. In an interview with CBS' Charlie Rose, Obama described the regime as "a massive challenge."
"Our first priority is to protect the American people and our allies, the Republic of Korea, Japan, that are vulnerable to the provocative actions that North Korea is engaging in," Mr. Obama said.
He said North Korea is "erratic enough" and the country's leader, Kim Jong Un, is "irresponsible enough that we don't want them getting close."
"But it's not something that lends itself to an easy solution," Mr. Obama said. "We could, obviously, destroy North Korea with our arsenals. But aside from the humanitarian costs of that, they are right next door to our vital ally, Republic of Korea."
So how is Obama preparing to fend off threats from North Korea? It appears that the US will set up a missile defense system to surround North Korea and shoot down any future flying nuisances.
"One of the things that we have been doing is spending a lot more time positioning our missile defense systems, so that even as we try to resolve the underlying problem of nuclear development inside of North Korea, we're also setting up a shield that can at least block the relatively low-level threats that they're posing right now," Obama said.
Credit to Zero Hedge