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Obama: US Fully Prepared for N. Korean Threat

Posted June. 23, 2009 09:29,   


U.S. President Barack Obama yesterday said the U.S. is thoroughly prepared for any threat or contingency North Korea might pose, including a long-range missile threat to Hawaii.

In an interview with "The Early Show" on CBS, Obama said, “I don’t want to speculate on hypotheticals. But I want ... to give assurances to the American people that the t’s are crossed and the i’s are dotted in terms of what might happen.”

Pledging not to compensate the North for its hostility and provocations, he said the international community is urging Pyongyang to stop its provocative actions with a unity that has not been seen in quite some time.

Senator John McCain said U.S. forces should board a North Korean ship they are tracking if hard evidence shows the vessel is carrying missiles or other cargo in violation of U.N. resolutions.

McCain said such cargo will contribute to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to nations posing a direct threat to the U.S., adding measures taken by the U.N. Security Council are not enough to stop the North’s nuclear proliferation.

The most important thing is for China to intervene and exert influence on the North, he said.

A new Gallup Poll finds that the majority of Americans say North Korea poses a direct threat to U.S. security.

In poll conducted last week on 1,031 American adults nationwide, 51 percent called North Korea the biggest direct threat to the U.S., followed by Iran with 46 percent, Iraq 35 percent and Afghanistan 35 percent.

In addition, 34 percent said the North is a “serious threat” to U.S. interests in the world.