Korea, U.S. Pledge Firm Response To North Korea
Send a link to a friend
[April 25, 2014]
By Ju-min Park and Mark Felsenthal
SEOUL (Reuters) — North Korea represents a
threat not just to Asia but to the United States, U.S. President Barack
Obama said on Friday, as he and South Korea's President Park Geun-hye
warned they would respond firmly to any "provocations".
In March, the North warned it would not rule out a "new form" of
nuclear test to boost its nuclear deterrent, after the U.N. Security
Council condemned Pyongyang's launch of a mid-range ballistic
missile into the sea east of the peninsula.
Recent satellite data shows continued work at the nuclear test site
in North Korea, although experts analyzing the data say that
preparations do not appear to have progressed far enough for an
"When North Korea is threatening further provocations and publicly
discussing the possibility of a further nuclear test, President
Obama's visit to South Korea will send a firm message that North
Korea's provocations will not be tolerated," Park told a joint press
The two presidents were speaking after a summit in Seoul, the second
stop of a four-nation Asia tour for Obama.
Obama said he hoped China would use its influence to rein in its
North Korean ally. Beijing called again on Friday for a resumption
of stalled talks between North Korea, itself, the United States,
South Korea and Russia.
Park said the process — known as the six-party talks — would be
rendered "useless" by a fourth nuclear test.
North Korea has been under U.N. sanctions since its first nuclear
test in 2006, banning it from conducting atomic and missile tests,
barring U.N. member states from weapons trade with Pyongyang and
financial transactions that facilitate them.
[to top of second column]
Military experts say the North would lose any conventional war with
South Korea and the United States and is seeking to develop nuclear
weapons as a deterrent.
It has also used the nuclear program to attempt to wring concessions
and aid from the United States. Washington has said that it would be
open to talks if North Korea abandoned its nuclear program.
North Korea describes its nuclear weapons as a "treasured sword"
that it will never abandon.
(Reporting by Ju-min Park; writing by James Pearson;
editing by Alex
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.