Obama: US ready for any threat from North Korea

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With North Korea reportedly getting ready for a long-range missile test, President Barack Obama says the U.S. is prepared for any threat the secretive and unpredictable regime might pose.


Japanese media have reported Pyongyang appears to be preparing for a long-range test around July 4 and Defense Secretary Robert Gates has ordered additional protections for Hawaii in case a missile is launched over the Pacific Ocean.

"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 and 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."

"What we're not going to do is to reward belligerence and provocation in the way that's been done in the past," he said.

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.

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