Mr. FLEMING. Mr. Speaker, on April 5 of this year, North Korea launched a missile capable of hitting nations friendly to us and even parts of the United States. The rocket broke apart during its second phase, but it was able to track halfway across the Pacific Ocean.
What was our response to the growing threat? We announced the missile defense budget would be cut by $1.4 billion.
On May 25, 2009, North Korea successfully detonated a nuclear bomb at an underground test facility and launched at least six separate short-range ballistic missiles. And I understand that the bomb was about a 3- to 5-kiloton magnitude bomb.
Now there is news that North Korea may be preparing another long-range missile test. North Korea's nuclear weapons testing and production have been a major concern for years as they continue to make technological advances that could one day allow them to deliver a nuclear warhead anywhere in the U.S. This is not the time to cut our missile defense budget.
Mr. Speaker, we must continue to invest in the ground-based sensors to track, intercept and destroy missiles during the mid-course of flight and ensure America is protected against attacks from those who pose the biggest threat to our safety and freedom.
History remains clear on this. Being unprepared or passive always invites aggression.