Sarah Palin in North Korea gaffe
Sarah Palin, the former governor of Alaska and Tea Party favourite, has been hit by another gaffe after mistakenly declaring the US should stand by its "North Korean allies".
Mrs Palin, who is widely tipped to run in the 2012 presidential made the verbal slip during a live American radio interview after being asked about the war games being played out between North and South Korea.
The former Republican Vice Presidential candidate’s foreign policy credentials suffered a blow after she claimed that Barack Obama’s administration should stand firm alongside Kim Jong-il's Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
When asked by prominent conservative Glenn Beck about the escalating conflict on the Korean peninsula, the former beauty queen claimed it was worrying that the US could not be trusted to make appropriate decisions.
“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,” she said on the Fox News presenter’s nationally syndicated radio show.
“So this speaks to a bigger picture here that certainly scares me in terms of our national security policies.
“But obviously we gotta stand with our North Korean allies.”
When the host immediately corrected her Mrs Palin repeated: "Er yeah. And we're also bound by prudence to stand with our South Korean allies, yes."
While the statement appears to have been a slip of the tongue, it will likely damage her credibility and fail to shed perceptions that she is weak on foreign policy.
Mrs Palin, who left midway through her first term in office as governor of Alaska, was criticised by the "lamestream media" for her apparent lack of knowledge on key foreign isuues when she was John McCain's running mate during his failed bid for the White House.
She was lampooned for claiming that Alaska's proximity to Russia gave her an edge to Kremlinology after her interview with Katie Couric, the high-profile CBS news anchorwoman known for her unaggressive questioning techniques.
Her latest comments, which were made after she called in to Mr Beck, came amid a busy media schedule for Mrs Palin, who is promoting a new book that heavily criticises Mr Obama’s health care reform and foreign policy.
The remainder of her remarks on Tuesday's artillery attack, that marked the worst violence between North and South Korea since the 1950-53 Korean War, stuck to traditional US policy talking points.
"This is stemming from, I think, a greater problem when we're all sitting around asking 'Oh no, what are we gonna do,' and we're not having a lot of faith that the White House is gonna come out with a strong enough policy to sanction what it is that North Korea's gonna do," she said.
"So this speaks to a bigger picture here that certainly scares me in terms of our national security policies."
She also said the United States should "remind North Korea, well, we're not going to reward bad behaviour and we're not going to walk away and we do need to press China to do more to increase pressure on that arena”.
They are the latest in a long line of gaffes to trouble the high-profile politician and come amid a guessing game over whether she will run for the presidency in 2012.
She was widely mocked in July this year when she used the term "refudiate" - an unwitting combination of refute and repudiate - in a Twitter posting about the Ground Zero mosque debate, calling on Muslims to "pls refudiate".
Despite her other language difficulties she is still seen as an early favourites to win the Republican presidential nomination.
Her prominence grew as the ultra-conservative Tea Party gained momentum this year and her reputation as a political kingmaker has solidified, with several candidates she endorsed storming to victory in the November 2 elections.
But President Obama has indicated he is not worried about a possible contest against Mrs Palin, saying: "I don't think about her” although he admitted he had “respect for her skills”.