"A Reasonable Chance of Shooting It Down":

At a press conference earlier today, President Bush was asked several questions about the North Korean missile tests. Among his responses were the following comments about the United States' anti-ballistic missile capabilities:

Our missile systems are modest, our anti-ballistic missile systems are modest. They're new. It's new research. We've gotten -- testing them. And so I can't -- it's hard for me to give you a probability of success. But, nevertheless, the fact that a nontransparent society would be willing to tee up a rocket and fire it without identifying where it's going or what was on it means we need a ballistic missile system.

While existing systems may be "modest," the President further indicated that the military could well have intercepted a missile aimed toward North America. Specifically, Bush said "I think we had a reasonable chance of shooting it down. At least that's what the military commanders told me."

The official press conference transcript is here.