US secretary of defence Robert Gates warning that North Korea represent an imminent and ready danger to America's more than 300 million citizens has not alarmed the ordinary man or woman on Main Street, USA.
Gates is skilful in the use of misleading statements.
Had the US public better access to diplomatic cables Wikileaks is in the process of making more widely known, it would quickly learn that the US government is not so completely bewildered at the giant steps made by North Korea in the field of rocket science. It is unlikely that a feckless and tamed US mainstream media won't challenge the US government's right to censor thereby violating its own much proclaimed First Amendment guaranteeing the right to free speech.
'Far Eastern Economics' editor Bertil Linter published in 'Asian Times Online' a revealing article on the level of sophistication of the DPRK's rocketry. He carefully documents from the leaked cables from as early as 2004 that US was well aware of the range and scope of North Korea's advanced rockets, many of which are in Iran's hands. You may quibble about Linter's inferences and conclusions, but if one thing is clear, his information is based on official US sources.
Now the question arises as to why Gates issued his warning about yet another instance of why North Korea is a danger to US interests.
The answer is not hard to tease out: in his talks with the Chinese leaders, the secretary of defence failed to 'sign on' the Chinese to Washington's view of North Korea, nor was it -- and still is -- unwilling to act as the Obama administration's policeman on bring Kim Jong il & co. to heel.