Secretary of State Clinton joked about a failed North Korean missile test after a senior aide facetiously suggested they send North Korea’s dictator a signed picture from the movie “Failure to Launch.”
The State Department team may have needed a laugh at the time, since the launch attempt days earlier in April 2012 had generated widespread criticism of the Obama Administration’s policy toward North Korea. “The launching has been politically problematic for the Obama administration, which only weeks ago completed an agreement with the North to provide food aid in return for Pyongyang’s agreement to suspend uranium enrichment and refrain from test launchings of long-range missiles,” reported the New York Times. “..Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, said the launching illustrated President Obama’s strategy of appeasement. ‘This incompetence from the Obama administration has emboldened the North Korean regime and undermined the security of the United States and its allies'”(see article here.)
“Let’s get Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew McConaughey to sign the attached and send it to (North Korean leader) Kim Jong Un,” suggested State Department spin doctor Philippe Reines in his April 16, 2012 email. “His (Kim’s) father was supposedly a huge movie buff. And the kid always looks like he could use a laugh” (see the email below).
Clinton responded that the movie, a 2006 romantic comedy, was playing on her TV at that very moment, writing: “auspicious sign?” When Reines remarked on the coincidental timing, Clinton responded: “It’s those strange signals you keep receiving from your dental fillings.”