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This year, President Obama proposed cutting $1.4 billion from the Missile Defense Agency budget in an effort to focus on “rogue state and theater missile threats.” As part of this effort to supposedly “restructure” the missile defense program, the President also proposed limiting the planned deployment of interceptors in Alaska and California from 44 to 30 and has declined a commitment to a third site in Europe. The threats from Iran and North Korea are far from idle. North Korea is currently preparing for the launch of another long-range ballistic missile. We cannot afford an idle response. With very real threats to American allies in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, and the not too distant possibility that the American homeland itself could come within range, missile defense is more important than ever.

The rapid pace of North Korea's provocations since January indicates that North Korea is intent on achieving a viable nuclear weapon and ICBM delivery capability and recognition as a nuclear weapons state. The U.S. should push the UN Security Council to impose punitive measures on all North Korean and foreign companies, banks, and government agencies complicit in violating UN limits on Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs. Since Beijing will continue to advocate a minimalist response, the U.S. should initiate a parallel multilateral effort to augment UN efforts. Washington should underscore that a nuclear North Korea is unacceptable.

Official Website: http://www.heritage.org/press/events/ev061109b.cfm

Added by insideronline on June 10, 2009

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