The decision to delay critical U.S missile tests is not a sign that the White House is bowing to North Korea's "bellicose rhetoric," a top administration official said Sunday.
During an appearance on "Fox News Sunday," senior Obama adviser Dan Pfeiffer said the decision was "absolutely not" a retreat after Pyongyang's recent aggressive actions against the U.S. and its allies in the Western Pacific.
The provocative actions taken by North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un fall in line with the regime's long history of saber rattling, he added.
"North Korea is engaging in the kind of behavior we have seen for many, many years: provocative actions and bellicose rhetoric," Pfeiffer said.
But those actions, he added, will only "futher isolate" Pyongyang within the international community.
Pfeffier's commens come shortly after Defense Secretary Chuck HagelChuck HagelLobbying World The US just attacked Syria. So where's Congress? Senators tear into Marines on nude photo scandal MORE postponed tests of the Minuteman 3 missile at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
The delay was designed to tamp down tensions with Pyongyang, a senior defense official told the Associated Press, which first reported the delay.
The United States has already deployed a ballistic missile defense system to Guam and moved Navy ships, armed with anti-missile weaponry, off the Korean peninsula.
In response, Kim has reportedly given his military the green light to launch nuclear strikes against U.S. allies in the Pacific and targets inside the United States.
White House press secretary Jay Carney on Thursday urged North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to “choose the path to peace” after reports said the nation had deployed missiles to its east coast.