Bloomberg News

North Korea Missile Launch Would Be ‘Provocative’ Act, U.S. Says

April 09, 2012

A missile launch by North Korea would be a “very provocative act” that indicates the country’s leaders aren’t serious about meeting international obligations, President Barack Obama’s spokesman said.

The U.S. is working with other nations, particularly China, to keep up pressure on North Korea, White House press secretary Jay Carney said at a briefing today in Washington.

A planned missile launch this month by North Korea is raising regional tensions the most since Kim Jong Un in December succeeded his father as head of the totalitarian state. South Korea warned that North Korea may test a nuclear weapon following the missile firing, as it did in 2009.

The Obama administration has said firing the long-range rocket would breach a February agreement to halt nuclear and missile tests and end uranium enrichment at its facility in Yongbyon in exchange for 240,000 tons of food aid. Kim’s government contends putting a “peaceful” satellite into orbit doesn’t violate the deal.

North Korea may be using the threat of a nuclear test as a bargaining chip to keep the deal from falling apart, said Koh Yu Hwan, a professor of North Korean Studies at Dongguk University in Seoul.

The launch may take place between April 12 and 16.

To contact the reporters on this story: Julianna Goldman in Washington at; Kate Andersen Brower in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Komarow at

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