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First 100 days: Debate over North Korea

The New York Times: "Hours after North Korea's missile test, President Obama on Sunday called for new United Nations sanctions and laid out a new approach to American nuclear disarmament policy — one intended to strengthen the United States and its allies in halting proliferation. In his speech, he said North Korea's missile test illustrated 'the need for action, not just this afternoon at the U.N. Security Council, but in our determination to prevent the spread of these weapons.'"

"'Rules must be binding,' he said. 'Violations must be punished. Words must mean something.' Those words were added to the end of a long-planned arms control speech hours before, after the president was awakened at 4:30 a.m. by his press secretary, Robert Gibbs, with news of North Korea's defiance."

The Washington Post: "Despite the urging of the United States and Japan, the 15-member [UN Security Council] could not agree on a statement criticizing North Korea's rocket launch. China and Russia said they were not yet convinced that Pyongyang had violated any U.N. rules, according to council officials."

That said, North Korea's launch seems to have been a failure, the New York Times front-pages. "North Korea failed in its highly vaunted effort to fire a satellite into orbit, military and private experts said Sunday after reviewing detailed tracking data that showed the missile and payload fell into the sea. Some said the failure undercut the North Korean campaign to come across as a fearsome adversary able to hurl deadly warheads halfway around the globe." 

Still, the Los Angeles Times writes that "U.S. military and intelligence officials and weapons experts said the test raises new concerns about advancements in Pyongyang's mastery of missile technology… Unlike North Korea's 2006 test in which a Taepodong 2 rocket failed 40 seconds after launch, the rocket this time successfully went through the first two stages."

The New York Daily News' DeFrank looks at North Korea as the test Biden was talking about.

Not surprisingly, John Bolton criticizes the Obama administration's handling of North Korea's launch in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. "Yesterday's launch is attributable to prior failures, but the global consequences now unfolding are Mr. Obama's responsibility. In fact, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is expected to announce today deep cuts in the U.S. missile defense program, an extraordinarily ill-advised step."