Obama says US prepping shield to counter North Korea

The United States is readying a “shield” to protect itself from “low-level” threats from North Korea, which has conducted multiple nuclear and ballistic missile tests this year, according to President Obama.

“One of the things that we have been doing is spending a lot more time positioning our missile development systems, so that even as we try to resolve the underlying problem of nuclear development inside of North Korea, we’re also setting up a shield that can at least block the relatively low-level threats that they’re posing now,” Obama said in an interview with “CBS News” that aired Tuesday.

The comments suggest the U.S. is moving ahead with plans to deploy a new missile defense system in South Korea.

American diplomats have tried to assuage Chinese concerns about the system. South Korea is a regional rival and Beijing is worried it would pose a threat to Chinese national security.

But Obama said the U.S. does not want to take any chances with “erratic” North Korea and its leader, Kim Jong-un, whom he described as “personally irresponsible.”

“North Korea is a massive challenge,” Obama said. “They are erratic enough — their leader is personally irresponsible enough — that we don’t want them getting close,” he continued. “But it’s not something that lends itself toward an easy solution.”

[The Hill]

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