-- Mitt Romney linked North Korea's failed rocket launch to the Obama administration in a statement released late Thursday night, saying the president's efforts to appease the regime have emboldened Pyongyang.
In a statement condemning the launch, Romney said President Barack Obama has "no effective response" to North Korea's weapons program and supported a "food-aid deal" "that proved to be as naive as it was short-lived."
"At the same time, he has cut critical U.S. missile defense programs and continues to underfund them," Romney said. "This incompetence from the Obama Administration has emboldened the North Korean regime and undermined the security of the United States and our allies."
North Korea's Thursday rocket launch —which leaders claimed was designed to put a satellite into orbit —ended almost as soon as it began, with the rocket breaking into pieces.
The White House also released a statement condemning North Korea's actions.
Romney reportedly plans to make the president's foreign policy a sharper focus of campaign attacks —which up until now have most notably centered on the weak economy.
According to an ABC News/Washington Post poll released this week, Americans favor Obama over Romney on international affairs 53 to 36 percent. Survey participants identified foreign policy as an issue area of strength for the president.
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