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'US within an inch of war everyday' with North Korea: Panetta

Washington, Fri, 20 Apr 2012 ANI

Washington, Apr 20 (ANI): US Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, claimed that the United States was 'within an inch of war almost every day' in the region around North Korea, and need be 'careful' about what they do or say.

"We're within an inch of war almost every day in that part of the world, and we just have to be very careful about what we say and what we do," The Politico quoted Panetta, as saying.

"I think it's pretty clear that this administration took a firm stand with regards to the provocative behavior that North Korea has engaged in. We have made very clear to them that they should not take any additional provocative actions," Panetta added, referring failed launch of the long-range rocket under the administration of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

According to reports, analysts have claimed that that Kim might feel compelled to respond to this disappointment with a further provocation, such as by conducting a nuclear test.

However, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed her optimism that Kim Jong Un could 'represent a change from his father's policies'.

"We believe that he may have some hope that the conditions in North Korea can change. But again, we'll watch and wait," Clinton was reported, as saying. (ANI)

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