Administration

Obama: US prepping ‘shield’ to counter North Korea

The United States is readying a “shield” to protect itself from “low-level” threats from North Korea, which has conducted multiple nuclear and ballistic missile tests this year, according to President Obama. 
 
“One of the things that we have been doing is spending a lot more time positioning our missile development 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 now,” Obama said in an interview with “CBS News” that aired Tuesday. 
 
{mosads}The comments suggest the U.S. is moving ahead with plans to deploy a new missile defense system in South Korea. 
 
American diplomats have tried to assuage Chinese concerns about the system. South Korea is a regional rival and Beijing is worried it would pose a threat to Chinese national security.
 
But Obama said the U.S. does not want to take any chances with “erratic” North Korea and its leader, Kim Jong-un, whom he described as “personally irresponsible.”
 
“North Korea is a massive challenge,” Obama said. “Our first priority is to protect the American people and our allies — Republic of Korea, Japan — that are vulnerable to the provocative actions that North Korea is engaging in.
 
“They are erratic enough — their leader is personally irresponsible enough — that we don’t want them getting close,” he continued. “But it’s not something that lends itself toward an easy solution.”
Tags Barack Obama China Japan Kim Jong Un North Korea South Korea

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