BLINDSIDED: Obama's Asia Team Reportedly Partying When North Korea Launched Rocket

North Korean Rocket Launch April 2012

Photo: David Guttenfelder/AP

On Wednesday, North Korea’s successful rocket launch surprised most of the world.The intelligence community believed the rumours that the DPRK would delay its launch, and then was basically blindsided when it actually happened.

How unprepared?

Well, reports have surfaced that Obama’s Asia team was at a party at the Japanese ambassador’s house.¬†Josh Rogin of¬†Foreign Policy notes:

Several top U.S. officials dealing with Asia and North Korea from the State Department, the Pentagon, and the National Security Council were relaxing Tuesday night at the Japanese ambassador’s Nebraska Avenue residence in Washington when the news came over their blackberries that North Korea had launched another Unha-3 rocket with a “satellite” attached, this time with much more success than a previous attempt in April.

Just minutes before the launch news became known, several officials were overheard remarking how nice it was that North Korea was apparently delaying the launch, giving U.S. North Korea watchers hope that their holiday festivities would not be interrupted.

The team were forced to “put down their drinks and sudden leave,” Rogin writes.

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