Romney: Obama's "incompetence" propped NK

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(CBS News) Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said the president "sought to appease" the North Koreans -- a move that failed to stop a missile launch.

"Its weapons program poses a clear and growing threat to the United States, one for which President Obama has no effective response," Romney said in a statement.

North Korea attempted to launch a long-range missile that failed 90 seconds after launch Thursday. 

In response, the Obama administration called the act "not surprising" but "provocative."

"North Korea's provocative action threatens regional security, violates international law and contravenes its own recent commitments," the White House said in a statement. "While this action is not surprising given North Korea's pattern of aggressive behavior, any missile activity by North Korea is of concern to the international community."

Romney, however, said he "condemn(s)" the attempted launch, but blamed the president for "incompetence" and a policy of appeasement.

"Instead of approaching Pyongyang from a position of strength, President Obama sought to appease the regime with a food-aid deal that proved to be as naive as it was short-lived," Romney said, referring to a proposed deal to provide food to the impoverished nation. The administration later said the deal would not go through because of North Korea's plans to launch the rocket.

"This incompetence from the Obama Administration has emboldened the North Korean regime and undermined the security of the United States and our allies," Romney said.

The administration said the North Korean regime's actions, led by Kim Jong Un, the son of the late Kim Jong Il, has ruined prospects for food aid.

"North Korea is only further isolating itself by engaging in provocative acts, and is wasting its money on weapons and propaganda displays while the North Korean people go hungry," the president said.

The U.N. Security Council is expected to meet to discuss the issue Friday.

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    Leigh Ann Caldwell is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.