Friday, June 19, 2009

(Axis of Evil) Top Obama Aids say, "the two challenges [Iran/N. Korea] are linked"

What did Bush say? The "Axis of Evil?" Well, President George W. Bush, author of the "axis of evil" concept, toppled Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq, but got nowhere containing Iran and North Korea, either with policies of rigid isolation or, later, multilateral diplomacy.

Now, with Iran's uranium enrichment centrifuges spinning and North Korea testing both nuclear weapons and missiles, it's Obama's turn - and top aides are fully aware that the two challenges are linked. "Whatever we do with respect to North Korea is going to be closely watched by Iran," a senior White House aide told me.... (Mort Kondracke - Real Clear Politics)

Japan warns that North Korea may fire missile at U.S. on Independence Day

By Mail Foreign Service

19th of June, 2009

North Korea may launch a long-range ballistic missile towards Hawaii on American Independence Day, according to Japanese intelligence officials.

The missile, believed to be a Taepodong-2 with a range of up to 4,000 miles, would be launched in early July from the Dongchang-ni site on the north-western coast of the secretive country.

Intelligence analysts do not believe the device would be capable of hitting Hawaii's main islands, which are 4,500 miles from North Korea.

It was announced today that the U.S. has deployed anti-missile defences around Hawaii in response to the threat.

North Korea test-fired a similar long-range missile on July 4 three years ago, but it failed seconds after liftoff.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the additional defenses around Hawaii consist of a ground-based mobile missile system and a radar system nearby.

Together they could shoot an incoming missile in mid air.

'Without telegraphing what we will do, I would just say... we are in a good position, should it become necessary, to protect Americans and American territory,' Gates said today.

A new missile launch - though not expected to reach U.S. territory - would be a brazen slap in the face of the international community, which punished North Korea with new U.N. sanctions for conducting a second nuclear test on May 25 in defiance of a U.N. ban.

North Korea spurned the U.N. Security Council resolution with threats of war and pledges to expand its nuclear bomb-making program....