By Brandon Moseley
Rep. Mo Brooks (R) from Huntsville released a statement about North Korea's launch of a ballistic missile in violation of its agreement with the United States and United Nations resolutions.
Rep. Brooks said, "North Korea has repeatedly demonstrated that it does not honor its agreements, and this recent launch is in direct violation of its agreement with the United States and of United Nations resolutions. "
On Friday, North Korea launched a large three state rocket ostensibly to launch a communications satellite into orbit. The rest of the world accused Pyongyang of conducting an intercontinental ballistic missile test. Japanese government officials said that the three-stage rocket appeared to fly for more than a minute after it was launched at 7:40 a.m., then broke up at an altitude of 400,000 feet and fell in several pieces into international waters into the sea. The Pentagon released a statement that the first stage of the rocket fell into the sea about 103 miles west of Seoul, and the remaining stages "were assessed to have failed and no debris fell on land."
The Obama administration had just weeks ago completed an agreement with the North to provide food aid in return for Pyongyang's agreement to suspend uranium enrichment and end test launchings of long-range missiles. The administration had said that the deal was promising and would allow nuclear monitors back into the country after years when the nuclear program has gone unchecked.
Rep Brooks said that North Korea's missile development program is why America needs a missile defense system. "North Korea's determination to possess, test, and launch nuclear weapons clearly demonstrates why a strong American missile defense is more imperative now than ever. The United States must continue to build our missile defense capabilities and ensure that rogue nation states do not threaten our homeland."
Congressman Mo Brooks is a member of the House Armed Services Committee and serves on the Subcommittees on Strategic Forces, and Oversight and Investigations.
North Korea's state-run news media announced that the satellite the rocket had been carrying "failed to enter its preset orbit." Scientists and technicians were "looking into the cause of the failure." The North Korean leadership had trumpeted the event as a showcase of patriotic pride meant to exalt the 100th anniversary of the birthday of the country's founder, Kim Il-sung, grandfather of the new leader, Kim Jung-un. The announcement was the first time that North had publicly acknowledged a long-range missile or satellite failure.
Following the launch, the United States condemned it as a belligerent act that endangered regional stability and announced that the food aid they had planned to send to North Korea to help feed its malnourished population would be suspended.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said, "North Korea is only further isolating itself by engaging in provocative acts, and is wasting its money on weapons and propaganda displays while the North Korean people go hungry." The United States "remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations and is fully committed to the security of our allies in the region."
According to satellite photographs, North Korea is making preparations for the country's third nuclear weapons test. North Korea has detonated plutonium bombs in 2006 and 2009. Some analysts speculate that this third test could be designed to show off a new weapon made from highly enriched uranium, the newest fuel the North is experimenting with.
Following announcement that the U.S. had canceled food assistance, Kim Jong Un, who took power in December following the death of his father Kim Jong Il, made his first public speech on April 15th. Un said that the world can't threaten or blackmail North Korea's "undefeated" 1.2 million-strong military. North Korea broke off an agreement to halt testing of nuclear devices and long-range missiles. The official Korean Central News Agency announced that North Korea was now free to take "necessary retaliatory measures." "The U.S. will be held wholly accountable for all the ensuing consequences."
Congressman Mo Brooks represents the 5th Congressional District of Alabama. Rep. Brooks is seeking his second term in the United States Congress.