Obama's comments on missile defense caught on open mic - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Obama's comments on missile defense caught on open mic

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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- President Barack Obama has told his Russian counterpart that he'll have more flexibility to deal with the contentious issue of missile defense after the November election.

Obama's candid assessment was picked up by a microphone, though it appears that neither Obama nor Russian President Dmitry Medvedev knew it. Medvedev can be heard responding that he'll pass along Obama's comments to incoming President Vladimir Putin.

The White House says Obama's words reflect the reality that domestic political concerns in the both the U.S. and Russia this year will make it difficult to fully address their long-standing differences over missile defense.

Obama's remarks drew an immediate reaction from the Republican chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces. Congressman Mike Turner has written to the president requesting an "urgent explanation" of the comments, saying Congress has made clear that it will "block all attempts to weaken U.S. missile defenses."

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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