April 5, 2009
"Rules must be binding. Violations must be punished. Words must mean something."
President Obama, hammering North Korea for going through with a long-missile rocket launch, during a planned speech on nuclear proliferation in Prague
Coincidence or not, North Korea chose the same day that Obama was set to deliver a major nuclear-proliferation speech to launch the long-range missile the rest of the world had been eyeing. The move allows Obama to give his remarks just hours after the launch with a fresh sense of urgency, calling for the eventual total elimination of the world's nuclear arsenal and vowing to convene a global summit on the subject within a year.
Obama urges that action be taken and a "strong message of disapproval" be sent to North Korea, but the U.N. Security Council fails to agree on a response following an emergency meeting Sunday. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also works the phones, speaking with foreign ministers of China, Japan and Russia to try to build international consensus to condemn North Korea's actions.
Back home, Senior White House aide David Axelrod takes a swipe at former Vice President Dick Cheney, who hasn't held back his criticism of the young Administration. Saying that former President Bush "was incredibly cooperative during the transition" and "behaved like a statesman," Axelrod quips, "I just don't think the memo got passed down to the Vice President."