Sarah Palin Mistakenly Calls N. Korea an "Ally"

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin signs her new book 'America By Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag,' Nov. 23, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. Getty Images

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin signs her new book 'America By Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag,' Nov. 23, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Getty Images

A simple north-south slip of the tongue or not, Sarah Palin's latest gaffe couldn't have come at a worse time for the Tea Party icon, geo-politically speaking.

In a live radio interview Wednesday with equally popular conservative host Glenn Beck, Palin twice referred to North Korea as America's ally and urged President Obama to firmly demonstrate the alliance.

The first reference was the less glaring mistake.

"We're not having a lot of faith that the White House is going to come out with a strong enough policy to sanction what it is that North Korea is going to do," Palin told Beck.

It's unclear whether she referenced the correct Korea and simply misused the term "sanction" -- which, as stated, means to approve or validate, or if she meant to say South Korea, the U.S. ally, in reference to any actions that nation may take in retaliation to past or future attacks from the North.

One might even have missed that gaffe, had she not said just seconds later: "Obviously, we gotta stand with our North Korean allies."

Upon hearing that, Beck immediately butted-in to correct the possible 2012 Republican presidential candidate, quickly interjecting, "South Korea."

Palin replied with an almost reflexive, "yeah," but corrected herself in the next remark: "And we're also bound by prudence to stand with our South Korean allies, yes."

Content on the website for Glenn Beck's radio show is members-only, but the audio has been posted on Youtube.

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Palin's remarks come as the Obama administration, and it's ally (South Korea), mull prepare to conduct long-planned naval exercises off the Korean Peninsula. The move is sure to stoke further anger in North Korea, which earlier this week attacked a tiny South Korean island with a barrage of artillery fire, leaving four people dead and more than a dozen wounded.

Palin shot back Thursday with a note on Facebook, which began by calling out gaffes President Obama has made.

"If the media had bothered to actually listen to all of my remarks on Glenn Beck's radio show, they would have noticed that I refer to South Korea as our ally throughout, that I corrected myself seconds after my slip-of-the-tongue, and that I made it abundantly clear that pressure should be put on China to restrict energy exports to the North Korean regime," Palin wrote in defense of her slip.

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  • Tucker Reals

    Tucker Reals is the CBSNews.com foreign editor, based at the CBS News London bureau.

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