WASHINGTON- The United States military is prepared for the possibility that North Korea may attempt to launch a missile toward Hawaii, President Barack Obama said in remarks released on Sunday.
This administration -- and our military -- is fully prepared for any contingencies, Obama said in an interview with CBS television when asked about reported North Korean intentions to fire a missile toward Hawaii on or about July 4.
Pressed on whether his comments were a warning of a military response, Obama said no.
It's just we are prepared for any contingencies, he said. 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 in terms of what might happen.
North Korea conducted a nuclear test on May 25 and may be looking to launch a long-range missile toward Hawaii after the United Nations punished Pyongyang by toughening sanctions.
Obama said the international community was united in its approach to North Korea.
One of the things that we have been very clear about is that North Korea has a path toward rejoining the international community, he said.
We hope they take that path. What we're not going to do is to reward belligerence and provocation in the way that's been done in the past.
The interview with CBS's The Early Show is due to air on Monday. Obama's remarks were released early in a partial transcript.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason, editing by Chris Wilson)