TOKYO, Japan (CNN) -- U.S. officials said Wednesday they are ready to respond to any North Korean missile test and rejected direct talks with Pyongyang over the issue.Unless our domeless wonderboys are purely intentionally trying to drum up yet another war, what is the possible harm in talking to anyone in any way at all?
U.S. and South Korean officials said North Korea appeared to be preparing a test of the Taepodong-2, a ballistic long-range missile that could reach parts of the United States.
Thomas Schieffer, U.S. ambassador to Japan, said Wednesday that Washington believes "steps have been taken for a real test" and all options are available for an American response.
"We have greater technical measures of tracking than in the past, and we have options that we have not had in the past, and all these options are on the table," Schieffer said Wednesday, responding to reporters' questions about how the United States would react to such a test.
Officials said the Pentagon could try to use its missile defense system to shoot down the North Korean missile. The military has nine interceptor missiles based in Alaska and two in California.
While Pentagon officials doubt a military response will be necessary, U.S. diplomatic officials were giving no ground on the issue, rejecting a North Korean offer for direct talks.
"We know the United States is concerned about the test-firing of missiles," Han Suk-Ryul, North Korea's deputy chief of mission at the United Nations, told the Yonhap news agency. "If that is the case, then our position is that we should resolve the problem through negotiations."
A senior U.S. official quickly said no to any one-on-one negotiations, according to Reuters news agency.
"Their desire for bilateral talks is well known, as is our position on bilateral talks," the official who was traveling with President Bush in Austria told Reuters.
Washington repeatedly has refused to hold direct talks with North Korea, saying any discussions should involve the nation's neighbors.
If the aforementioned wonderboys are trying to drum up the aforementioned war, why? (And who's going to fight it?)
So, the wonderboys are thinking of using their untested antimissile system to "shoot down" somebody else's test flight? I can only think of two bad outcomes to such an exercise: first, that it might fail; and secondly, that it might succeed. Apart from those possibilities, I suppose everything will be just fine.
Finally: is there anyone infesting public office, or working for those who do, who hasn't gone completely, rabidly, gibbering-at-the-full-moon crazy?