Washington, DC – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO) and Strategic Forces Chair Ellen Tauscher (D-CA) released the following joint statement concerning North Korea’s missile launch:

 “We strongly condemn North Korea’s test of a long-range ballistic missile.  The test is a provocative action and a clear violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1718, which expressly prohibits North Korea from conducting further ballistic missile launches.

 “We call on North Korea to cease any further ballistic missile launches and return to the Six-Party talks without any preconditions.  We will support President Obama’s efforts to work with the international community to appropriately address North Korea’s actions. 

 “North Korea’s ballistic missile capability is a threat to the United States, our deployed forces, and our friends and allies in the region. 

 “The House Armed Services Committee has worked for many years to ensure that we have fully funded critical near-term missile defense systems, such as the existing Ground-based Midcourse Defense system, based in Alaska and California, the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system, and the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system.

 “Finally, we have continued to push to make certain that our missile defenses are sufficiently tested so that we have a high degree of confidence that they will work if needed.”