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North Korean rocket could reach Hawaii: US admiral

America’s top military officer said on Friday that a rocket North Korea plans to launch next month has a range that could possibly reach Hawaii.Asked if the North Korean rocket could reach the US states of Hawaii or Alaska, Admiral Mike Mullen told CNN: “In some cases, yes, they could probably get down to Hawaii.”

International concern has been mounting about North Korea’s announcement it would launch a communications satellite between April 4 and 8.

The United States, Japan and other allies believe Pyongyang is using the launch to test a ballistic missile that could, in theory, cross the Pacific to reach North America.

The launch, combined with North Korea’s atomic weapons, were cause for serious concern, the admiral said.

Mullen added the regime’s missiles did not yet have a range that could strike the western coast of the US mainland.

Arms experts say North Korea has yet to demonstrate it has the ability to construct and fit a nuclear warhead onto a missile.

The launch, even if it is for a satellite as announced by North Korea, would help the regime in developing a long-range missile threat, said Mullen, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“What concerns me is the guidance, the engineering, the engines, those are all identical to the kinds of capabilities you’d put on a ballistic missile,” he said.

Japan gave its military the green light on Friday to shoot down any incoming North Korean rocket. And Japanese and US warships have already deployed ahead of the April 4-8 window.

North Korea has said shooting down its rocket would be treated as act of war.

The last time North Korea launched a long-range Taepo-dong 2, on July 4, 2006, the missile failed seconds after launch.

Mullen declined to comment on any possible US military response to a rocket launch.

Other US commanders have said they have confidence the US military had the ability to shoot down any missile threatening the United States using sea-based or land-based missile defense weaponry.

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Bachmann Bill: Don’t Replace The Dollar

A member of Congress is warning the Obama administration to keep its hands off the U.S. dollar’s status as the world’s international currency,

 U.S. Rep. Michelle Bachmann, R-Minn., has introduced a resolution that would bar the U.S. from recognizing any other currency than the dollar as its reserve currency.

Her action comes in response to suggestions from China,Russia and the United Nations that another currency be explored. Even U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has admitted he would be open to the idea, although he quickly backtracked when the stock market plunged on his announcement.

 “During a Financial Services Committee hearing, I asked Secretary Geithner if he would denounce efforts to move towards a global currency and he answered unequivocally that he would,” Bachmann said. “And President Obama gave the nation the same assurances. But just a day later, Secretary Geithner has left the option on the table. I want to know which it is. The American people deserve to know.”

Although Title 31, Sec. 5103 USC prohibits foreign currency from being recognized in the U.S., the president has the power to engage foreign governments in treaties, and the president is principally responsible for the interpretations and implementation of those treaties according to the Constitution, according to the congresswoman.

As a result, legislation prohibiting the president and Treasury Department from issuing or agreeing that the U.S. will adopt an international currency would need to come in the form of a Constitutional Amendment differentiating a treaty used to implement an international currency in the U.S. from other types of treaty agreements, she said.

“If we give up the dollar as our standard, and co-mingle the value of the dollar with the value of coinage in Zimbabwe, that dilutes our money supply. We lose control over our economy. And economic liberty is inextricably entwined with political liberty. Once you lose your economic freedom, you lose your political freedom,” Bachmann told the Glenn Beck program on the Fox News Channel today.

Her proposal, H.J.R. 41, isn’t complicated:

It is titled: “Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to prohibit the president from entering into a treaty or other international agreement that would provide for the United States to adopt as legal tender in the United States a currency issued by an entity other than the United States ”

Already with several dozen sponsors, it states:

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled (two-thirds of each House concurring therein), That the following article is proposed as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years after the date of its submission for ratification:”

It would add to the Constitution:

The president may not enter into a treaty or other international agreement that would provide for the United States to adopt as legal tender in the United States a currency issued by an entity other than the United States.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the latest voice to endorse an “alternative” to the dollar was the head of a U.N. expert panel discussing solutions to the financial crisis.

Officials from both Russia and China have spoken out on the idea of a new global currency standard, and a U.N. panel published a report that said a new global reserve system would add to the world’s “economic stability and equity.”

 According to a report in the Financial Times, the subject could be on the table at the coming G20 summit of leading and emerging nations in London.

Specifically, the U.N. said a new system could “counteract the risk of a rapid fall in the value of the major reserve currency, gutting hard-earned reserve funds.”

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