US calls North Korean missiles ‘an Article 5 threat’, like Syria

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In his valedictory speech (June 17 2013 at Carnegie Europe) entitled ‘Renewed Ambitions for NATO’, US Ambassador to NATO Ivo Daalder made the following comment on the relevance of the US Pivot to the alliance [emphasis added]: 

“Contrary to suspicions on this side of the Atlantic, the United States does not intend to pivot away from Europe. Instead, we continue to look to Europe as an essential partner in facing all security challenges, from wherever they may come.

Let me be clear on this point. The United States is not abandoning NATO—our commitment to security in the North Atlantic community is deep and enduring.

But we also see threats looming on the horizon—including from far beyond Europe. North Korean missiles are an Article 5 threat to the United States and Canada just as Syrian missile are an Article 5 threat to Turkey and Europe.

And we want to make sure that we face these threats collectively, as true partners.

So the question is not whether Washington will choose Asia or Europe. As my former boss, Secretary Hillary Clinton, used to say … we Americans know how to walk and chew gum at the same time. The question is whether our NATO Allies will make the commitments necessary to face 21st century dangers together.”

What does that mean in practice? Something in between more ‘strong condemnations‘ and an actual presence in Asia for the alliance (recently ruled out by Secretary General Fogh Rasmussen)?

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