Obama: U.S. Ready For North Korea

As North Korea readies for a long-range missile test, President Obama says that we are ready for any potential threat. The U.S. Department of Defense has ordered “additional protections” for Hawaii in case the missile is launched over the Pacific.

“This administration — and our military is fully prepared for any contingencies,” Obama said during an interview with CBS News’ Harry Smith. The interview was taped Friday for broadcast Monday on “The Early Show.” “I don’t want to speculate on hypotheticals,” Obama said. “But I want … to give assurances to the American people that the t’s are crossed and the i’s are dotted in terms of what might happen.”

Defense Undersecretary Michele Flournoy was en route to Beijing to meet with Chinese officials about the ongoing tensions in the region over North Korea’s missile and nuclear weapons programs. North Korea’s main newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, said Monday it was “nonsense” to say the country was threatening the United States. The paper warned that Pyongyang was prepared to strike back if attacked. “As long as our country has become a proud nuclear power, the U.S. should take a correct look at whom it is dealing with,” the paper said. “It would be a grave mistake for the U.S. to think it can remain unhurt if it ignites the fuse of war on the Korean peninsula.”

A U.S. Navy destroyer is currently tailing a North Korean ship suspected of carrying UN-banned illegal weapons. Sen. John McCain says we would be within our rights to board and inspect the ship.