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N. Korea closer to nuclear ballistic missile goal: U.S. House panel leader

All Headlines 11:28 December 12, 2012

By Lee Chi-dong

WASHINGTON, Dec. 11 (Yonhap) -- The head of a U.S. congressional panel strongly condemned North Korea's launch of a multi-stage rocket on Tuesday.

"North Korea has once again defied the United Nations, its Six-Party partners, and the world by launching a long-range rocket under the guise of a so-called 'satellite test,'" U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a statement.

"It is clear that Pyongyang is moving ever closer towards its ultimate goal of producing a nuclear ballistic missile in order to threaten not only our allies in the Asia-Pacific region but the U.S. as well," she added.

The outgoing leader of the committee also accused President Barack Obama's administration of failing to prevent Pyongyang's provocative move. She called for tough sanctions on the communist nation.

“The Obama Administration's policies of appeasement through proposed talks over the past four years has done nothing to deter North Korean aggression," she said.

“The only approach Pyongyang will understand is one of action and strength," Ros-Lehtinen added. "We must reinvigorate and fortify sanctions against the regime and work even more closely with our Asia-Pacific allies through increased diplomatic and defense cooperation to contain the menace of North Korea."



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