Obama Meets with Leaders of China, Russia to Discuss Nuclear Security

President Barack Obama, left, and Chinese President Hu Jintao shake hands to start their meeting in Seoul, South Korea, March 26, 2012.
President Barack Obama, left, and Chinese President Hu Jintao shake hands to start their meeting in Seoul, South Korea, March 26, 2012.

U.S. President Obama met with the leaders of Russia and China ahead of a nuclear non-proliferation summit Monday in the South Korean capital. He also delivered a speech calling on the North Koreans to “have the courage to pursue peace” and “take irreversible steps” to meet their international obligations. The president also cautioned Iran that time is running out to resolve its own nuclear standoff.

Nuclear tensions with North Korea and Iran were the focus for President Obama in a Seoul speech and during his one-on-one sessions, later in the day, with the leaders of Russia and China.

At the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, the president said he wanted to directly convey to the leaders in Pyongyang, less than 200 kilometers away, the United States has no hostile intent - but that they should know further provocations will have consequences.

“Your provocations and pursuit of nuclear weapons have not achieved the security you seek, they have undermined it. Instead of the dignity you desire, you are more isolated," said Obama. "Instead of earning the respect of the world, you have been met with strong sanctions.”

The United States and South Korea are warning the North it faces more sanctions if it goes ahead next month with what Pyongyang terms a “space launch.”

Many members of the international community say that would violate existing sanctions forbidding North Korea from utilizing ballistic missile technology.

South Korean army Colonel Yoon Won-shik says the military here will take action if the multi-stage missile veers over this country's territory.

Yoon, a defense ministry spokesman, says the military will attempt to shoot down any parts of the missile that veer from the planned trajectory and crosses South Korea.

In Tokyo, Japanese Defense Minister Naoki Tanaka says not only will PAC-3 surface-to-air missiles be deployed in the Ryukyu islands for next month's North Korean launch, they will also be placed adjacent to the defense ministry headquarters in central Tokyo.

The Japanese defense minister says, to eliminate public anxiety, he will soon give orders to the Self Defense Forces and will make a decision on issuing a command to intercept and destroy the missile if it passes over Japan.

Chinese President Hu Jintao met Monday with both South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and, then, Obama to discuss the upcoming North Korean launch.

The Xinhua news agency quotes Hu telling his South Korean counterpart China does not want “a reversal of the hard-won momentum” toward reduced tensions on the Korean peninsula.

Shortly before meeting President Dmitry Medvedev, Obama pledged, in his Seoul speech, to pursue further strategic arms cuts with Russia.

Obama's meetings with the Chinese and Russian leaders also addressed suspicions about the true intent of Iran's nuclear program. In his speech, the president said he desires to work with Beijing and Moscow on a common diplomatic solution, but cautions Tehran that “time is short.

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: joeg
March 30, 2012 4:55 PM
It's not about nukes with Iran but control of the east and .Saudie will be next and should be .It was their people that did a number 911. Stop support of Israel they have been trouble makers since day one .Vote all the poltical people out of office and pray for g to get our country back to to what is right.or the ends will justfied the means.

by: Jonathan Huang
March 26, 2012 4:47 PM
How can NK give up its nuclear plan, when everyone saw examples that both Sadam and Kazafi were killed after they publicly renounced their nuclear programs? NK must knew developing nuclear weapons is the only way to keep it safe, so does Iran. US is seeding wars everywhere, no wander others want nuclear power.

by: almoros idriss
March 26, 2012 10:39 AM
Thank You so much president Obama! Yes, dealing with the strong Christian Russia's leaders and the moderate communist Chinese government is more better than dealing with those unfriendly nations and closed friends with wrong beliefs! Bye bye the cold war's policies and blind idological hatreds for ever be shared security issues, great world developments and everlasting peace!

by: yosshi
March 26, 2012 6:02 AM
“Your provocations and pursuit of nuclear weapons have not achieved the security you seek. Instead of the dignity you desire, you are more isolated," said Obama.

I think this mention might be applied to the USA . It would be very arrogant for any country to apply any sanctions to other countries on the basis of its own thought and dicision. If you want someone to do something, you should be the frontrunner in doing the same thing.

by: Gab to Cha Cha Cohen
March 26, 2012 4:48 AM
Nuclear technology is out of the bag. How do you propose to put it back in? The only thing we can do for sure, is to keep more nations from developing it. The fact that you bring up Israel tells us your position as politically far left or political Islam. Israel has been a excellent steward of its nuclear for forty years. If they give it up, are you going to guarantee their safety and survival? How?

by: subrata
March 26, 2012 4:36 AM
every country should have responsibility ..........about nuclear security

by: Jim
March 26, 2012 4:08 AM
This illustrates the fact that evil people have hearts which cannot be changed, and that without a system of effective checks-and-balances "leaders" tend to become tyrannical. . . . in short, this is why a one world government could never be trusted to be pure of heart, kind in actions, and ethical in its actions.

by: oHyEAH
March 26, 2012 2:22 AM
We are all doomed im telling you!!!

by: Cha Cha Cohen
March 26, 2012 2:00 AM
Only way to obtain nuclear security is to dump nuclear arsenals and nuclear thoughts of every nation from Americas through Israel and Iran to Zambia!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponentsi
Henry Ridgwell
July 28, 2015 9:53 PM
A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.

Video Special Olympics Athletes Meet International Friends

The Special Olympics are underway in Los Angeles, California, with athletes from 165 countries participating in an event that gives people with intellectual disabilities the chance to take part in an international competition. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that for athletes and their families, it's also an opportunity to make new friends in an international setting.

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs