U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today released the following statement regarding North Korea's launch of a three-stage, long-range missile:
"I strongly condemn North Korea's successful test launch of a long-range missile, and the world should do the same," said Inhofe. "As I said back in April with their last failed launch, North Korea's success was just a matter of time, and each of these instances must be dealt with as destabilizing acts of aggression. The launch highlights a major concern about our ability to gather good intelligence about programs such as ballistic missile and nuclear weapons development in places like North Korea and Iran. Our intelligence was wrong in 1998 when we were told the North Koreans were three years away from posing a threat, yet the next week they launched an ICBM test missile. There are still gaps today. This is one reason why a strong partnership between the United States and Japan and South Korea is so important. It is also why our national security requires an updated, ready, robust, redundant missile defense system. Under President Obama's leadership, our missile defenses are less ready and have suffered from his focus on dismantling our military through drastic defense budget cuts. The extent to which this administration continues to neglect these threats weakens our ability to defend this nation and our allies.
"Not only are the North Koreans developing their own nuclear arsenal and the means of delivery capable of hitting the United States, they are exporting these items to others such as Iran. It is time for China to step up and be a major stabilizing force in dealing with North Korea. At the same time, the United States must give a clear answer to North Korea, Iran and others, that this type of aggression that is a threat to us and our allies will not be tolerated."