- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 12, 2012

The White House late Thursday criticized North Korea’s failed missile launch, saying it jeopardizes the region’s security — but President Obama’s likely Republican opponent in the election said the current administration is to blame for the situation getting this far.

“The United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations, and is fully committed to the security our allies in the region,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement after North Korea tested a missile, which U.S. and allied officials said quickly fell apart after launch.

Still, Mr. Carney said it was a dangerous move.

North Korea’s long-standing development of missiles and pursuit of nuclear weapons have not brought it security - and never will,” he said.

He added, however, that the U.S. remains ready to “engage constructively” with North Korea.

Mitt Romney, the likely Republican nominee to try to defeat Mr. Obama in November, said the president’s approach actually has “emboldened” the rogue state - and that the missile launch is the latest evidence of that.

“Its weapons program poses a clear and growing threat to the United States, one for which President Obama has no effective response,” he said.

He criticized the president for a recent promise of food aid for North Korea and said it meant forgoing a U.S. “position of strength.”

“At the same time, he has cut critical U.S. missile defense programs and continues to underfund them,” Mr. Romney said. “This incompetence from the Obama administration has emboldened the North Korean regime and undermined the security of the United States and our allies.”

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