Press Release: North Korean Rocket Launch


James McKeon
202.546.0795 X 2617
Cell: 814.460.6943

Washington, DC – Today’s early reports indicate that North Korea launched a rocket south over the Yellow Sea. While the test did not threaten the United States or its allies, it was likely intended to further improve the country’s ballistic missile program.

North Korea’s launch and nuclear test from earlier this year should heighten the urgency of addressing its nuclear program through increased international pressure and new diplomatic engagement.

Since 2009, the Six Party Talks have stalled in part because the United States demands that North Korea agrees to denuclearization in advance.

“Time is not on our side,” said Lt. General Robert Gard, a 31-year veteran of the US Army and the Center’s Chair Emeritus. “With today’s rocket launch, numerous missile tests, and four previous nuclear detonations, North Korea continues to show a willingness to advance its capabilities. At this point, multilateral negotiations may be the only way to prevent future tests and roll back North Korea’s nuclear program.”

Gard added, “The goal of the talks should remain a denuclearized North. But the United States must remove its preconditions and allow the diplomatic process to reengage, before it’s too late.”

“This internationally condemned launch cannot and will not be tolerated,” said John Isaacs, Executive Director at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. “The United States should increase pressure on North Korea, particularly through targeted sanctions. But sanctions alone will not stop the North’s progress on nuclear weapons and missile technology. The United States must also re-open the Six Party Talks with the Koreas, China, Japan, and Russia.”


The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation is a national non-partisan, non-profit dedicated to enhancing peace and security through expert policy analysis and thought-provoking research. Since 1980, the Center’s expertise on reducing the threats of war and nuclear weapons has been sought by the media and policymakers—supported by the tax-deductible contributions of foundations and individuals.