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Page last updated at 23:32 GMT, Sunday, 21 June 2009 00:32 UK

Obama 'prepared' for N Korea test

North Korean missile
North Korea has stepped up its missile programme in recent weeks

President Barack Obama says the US is "fully prepared" for a possible missile test by North Korea over the Pacific.

His comments, in an interview with CBS television, come in response to reports that Pyongyang was considering launching a missile towards Hawaii.

Last month the North conducted an underground nuclear test - its second-ever - and test-fired a number of short-range missiles.

The United Nations Security Council extended sanctions in response.

"This administration - and our military - is fully prepared for any contingencies," Mr Obama said in an interview to be aired by CBS on Monday.

Asked if Washington was warning of a military response, Mr Obama said no.

He added: "I don't want to speculate on hypotheticals. But I do want to give assurances to the American people that the T's are crossed and the I's are dotted."

North Korea's nuclear ambitions have long been the focus of international concern.

China and Russia - the country's traditional allies - approved the new sanctions earlier this month, and called for North Korea to return to international talks on its nuclear programme.



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