Nov. 25, 2010— -- Was it a simple blunder or did a possible 2012 presidential contender really get her geography wrong?
That's the question being debated after Sarah Palin said in an interview with Glenn Beck Wednesday that North Korea was a U.S. ally.
When asked by Beck how she would handle a situation like the one that was developing in North Korea, Palin responded: "This is stemming from, I think, a greater problem when we're all sitting around asking, 'Oh no, what are we going to do,' and we're not having a lot of faith that the White House is going to come out with a strong enough policy to sanction what it is that North Korea is going to do."
It is unclear whether Palin is talking about sanctions against North Korea, or U.S. sanctioning -- i.e. approving or supporting -- its actions.
Palin continued: "Obviously, we gotta stand with our North Korean allies," when Beck interrupted and corrected her to say "South Korea."
"And we're also bound by prudence to stand with our South Korean allies, yes," she responded.
Palin's gaffe immediately caught fire on the blogosphere. Liberals jumped to show her response as evidence of Palin's lack of foreign policy expertise. Conservatives came to her defense, pointing to her response immediately before the gaffe where she discusses sanctions.
Palin has yet to address the incident.
Listen to the exchange on YouTube.
This is not the first time that Palin, on a whirlwind book tour of her new book "America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag," has taken heat for her words.
Last month, Palin endorsed West Virginia GOP candidate John Raese on Twitter but got his state wrong.
Other Palin gaffes, however, have changed the modern lexicon. The New Oxford American Dictionary made her term "refudiate" the official 2010 word of the year. Palin's use of the word -- seemingly a mix of refute and repudiate -- launched critics into a frenzy when she first posted it on her Twitter page over the summer.
The quasi leader of the Tea Party movement has emerged as a powerful force in the conservative movement, and she is making her presence known.
From appearing on Dancing with the Stars to cheer on her daughter, Bristol, to her multiple appearances on Fox News and 16-city book tour, Palin's actions have fueled much speculation about a possible presidential run in 2012.
The former Alaska governor herself has dropped several hints that she might be considering the challenge.
She recently told ABC's Barbara Walters that she is seriously considering a run for the White House, and she believes she could beat President Obama in 2012.
"I'm looking at the lay of the land now, and ... trying to figure that out, if it's a good thing for the country, for the discourse, for my family, if it's a good thing," Palin said in an interview scheduled to air in full Dec. 9 on ABC as part of Walters' "10 Most Fascinating People" of 2010.
When questioned by Walters, "If you ran for president, could you beat Barack Obama?"
Palin responded, "I believe so."
The feisty Fox News contributor, whose daughter Bristol this week placed third in Dancing with the Stars, also hasn't shied away from taking on the Republican establishment.
On Wednesday, she took on the Bushes after comments by former first lady Barbara Bush that she hopes Palin would stay in Alaska.
"I think the majority of Americans don't want to put up with the blue bloods -- and I say it with all due respect because I love the Bushes -- but the blue bloods who want to pick and choose their winners instead of allowing competition to pick and choose the winners," Palin said on Laura Ingraham's radio talk show.
While Palin remains a popular figure among Tea Partiers and conservatives, she has yet to gain widespread support, polls show and many Americans still view her as a polarizing figure.
A Quinnipac poll of primary voters released this week shows Palin leading her possible Republican challengers Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee by a slim margin. But when pitted against the president, Obama leads Palin by 48-40 percent, while Romney leads Obama by one percentage point.
In an ABC News/Washington Post poll conducted late October, two-thirds of Americans regarded Palin as unqualified to serve as president.
ABC News' Mary Bruce contributed to this report.