WQXR's The Washington Report

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The former Burlington Coat Factory building that will make way for the Cordoba House which some are calling the 'Ground Zero Mosque' is seen in lower Manhattan on July 29, 2010 in New York.

On Friday, President Barack Obama defended the right of Muslims to build an Islamic mosque and cultural center near Ground Zero. Separately, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said last week that North Korea's recent series of attacks directed at South Korea were indications that Kim Jong-il's son, Kim Jong-un, may be trying to earn his stripes with the North Korean military.

In this week's Washington Report, WNYC's Kerry Nolan talks to David Sanger, Chief Washington Correspondent for The New York Times, about why President Obama got in the middle of this controversial debate in New York, and what Secretary Gates meant by his comments that the North Korean succession might explain its recent aggression.