China: US Is Bungling North Korea Situation

And lawmaker says Pyongyang has missile that could reach US
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 18, 2013 7:45 AM CDT
China: US Is Bungling North Korea Situation
A rocket launcher is fired during a live drill by the Jangjae Islet Defense Detachment and the Mu Islet Hero Defense Detachment deployed in the southwestern sector of North Korea.   (AP Photo/KCNA via KNS)

If the US boosts its missile defenses in reaction to North Korea's threats, a plan revealed last week and confirmed by Chuck Hagel on Friday, it will just make the situation worse, China is warning today. The move, which would bring the total number of US interceptors to 44 by 2017, would "intensify antagonism" between the US and Pyongyang while not solving anything, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman said. He further warned that the move would also hurt "global strategic balance and regional stability" and "strategic trust between relevant countries," CNN reports.

North Korea is also not a fan of the plan, calling it a "hostile policy" on Saturday and reiterating its refusal to negotiate over its nuclear program. And while President Obama has downplayed fears of a North Korean missile being able to hit the US, the head of the House intelligence committee warned yesterday that's not true, AFP reports. "They certainly have a ballistic missile that can reach US shores," Congressman Mike Rogers said. He added that the situation is ripe for dangerous instability: "You have a 28-year-old leader who is trying to prove himself to the military, and the military is eager to have a saber rattling for their own self-interest, and the combination is proving to be very, very deadly." (Read more Pyongyang stories.)

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