News / Asia

Obama Warns N. Korea About Nuclear Test

Obama Warns North Korea Against New Nuclear Testi
X
Luis Ramirez
April 25, 2014 6:11 PM
President Obama is in South Korea as tensions with North Korea flare again. The president has issued a warning to North Korea as intelligence reports indicate the North is preparing for another nuclear test. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez is traveling with the president and has this report from Seoul.
Luis Ramirez
President Barack Obama is in South Korea on the second leg of an Asian tour, where he gave a warning to North Korea against conducting a fourth nuclear test.
 
In a newspaper interview with South Korea's JoongAng Ilbo, released just before his arrival Friday, Obama said: "If North Korea were to make the mistake of engaging in another nuclear test, it should expect a firm response from the international community."
 
At a joint news conference later Friday with South Korean President Park Geun-hye, Obama said America's commitment to South Korea will never waiver, and the U.S. and South Korea will stand "shoulder to shoulder" against North Korean provocation.

“The United States and South Korea stand shoulder to shoulder both in the face of Pyongyang's provocations and in our refusal to accept a nuclear North Korea," Obama said. "Threats will get North Korea nothing, other than greater isolation.”

North Korea is already under a long list of sanctions, but the president on Friday suggested more might be necessary.

Obama's visit has been overshadowed by the tragedy of last week's ferry disaster and the loss of more than 300 people listed as dead or missing. Obama expressed condolences to the families of the hundreds of children lost in last week's ferry accident.
 
Before Obama wrapped up a two-day visit to Japan earlier Friday, the two nations released a joint statement on security and trade. The countries said they share strong concern about China's air defense zone in the East China Sea, but reaffirmed interest in building productive ties with Beijing.
 
The president is continuing his efforts to ease tensions between South Korea and Japan on issues of history. Many South Koreans believe Japan has not apologized enough for making sex slaves of Korean women and other atrocities committed by its forces while Japan ruled the peninsula from 1910 to 1945.

Obama said a clear accounting is necessary.

“I think that any of us who look back on history what happened to the comfort women here in South Korea for example, have to recognize that this was a terrible, egregious violation of human rights," he said. "Those women were violated in ways that even in the midst of war was shocking."

The U.S. administration hopes to get both sides to move beyond the dispute and focus on the more immediate threat posed by North Korea.
 
After two days in Seoul, Obama will head to Malaysia, where he will hold talks and attend a state dinner with Prime Minister Najib Razak. He will be the first sitting U.S. president to visit Malaysia since Lyndon Johnson traveled there in 1966.
 
Obama's last stop will be the Philippines, which is also involved in a territorial standoff with China and has deepened its military cooperation with Washington as a result.
 
This is Obama's fifth visit to Asia since taking office in 2009. He has promised to make the Pacific region a greater economic, diplomatic and military priority for the United States.
 
  • President Barack Obama speaks to military troops at Fort Bonifacio, saying a new military pact signed with the Philippines on Monday, April 27 granting a larger presence for U.S. forces would bolster the region's maritime security, Manila, April 29, 2014.
  • President Barack Obama states during a joint news conference with President Benigno Aquino III, that a 10-year agreement signed Monday, April 27, will give the U.S. military greater access to Philippine bases, helping to promote peace and stability in the region, Malacanang Palace, Manila, April 28, 2014. 



     
  • Police use a water cannon on "Bayan Muna" (My Country First) activists who tried to march to the U.S. embassy protesting President Barack Obama's visit, Manila April 29, 2014. 
  • The tail section of Air Force One is pictured on the tarmac at Elmendorf Air Force Base outside Anchorage, Alaska, as President Barack Obama stayed onboard during a refuel stop on his return to the United States from Asia, April 29, 2014. 
  • U.S. President Barack Obama waves to the media upon arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, Philippines, April 28, 2014.
  • U.S. President Barack Obama, center, stands to speak as he attends a state dinner with Philippine President Benigno Aquino III at Malacanang Palace in Manila, Philippines, April 28, 2014.
  • Philippine activists pull barbed wire fence as they try to go near the Malacanang Palace during a rally to oppose the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement between the Philippines and U.S., Manila, Philippines, April 28, 2014.
  • An activist holds a protest sign near the Malacanang Palace in Manila, Philippines, April 28, 2014.
  • President Barack Obama is welcomed by South Korean President Park Geun-hye at the Blue House in Seoul, April 25, 2014.
  • President Barack Obama and Japan's Empress Michiko attend a welcome ceremony at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, April 24, 2014.
  • President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shake hands at the conclusion of their joint news conference at the Akasaka State Guest House in Tokyo, April 24, 2014.
  • President Barack Obama and ASIMO, an acronym for Advanced Step in Innovative MObility, bow to each other during a youth science event at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo, April 24, 2014.

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Comments
     
by: charles onyango from: kenya
April 29, 2014 11:20 AM
North Korea Seems To Be Doing What It's Best At..Threatening The Globe's Security In The Name Of Testing The Deadly Weapons..Actually The Chemistry Behind These Tests Is Unclear As N.Korea May Possibly Be Catalysing The Emergence Of WWIII.We Therefore Ask Nations To Come Out And Deal With This Ill Planned N.Korean Ideas

by: Not Again from: Canada
April 25, 2014 2:05 PM
Does any one, sane, believe that NKorea is in any way concerned about warnings from the Obama Administration, or anyone else for that matter? Russia just forgave all the outstanding debt to NKorea. Western deterrence has/is failing, instability is increasing, globally; and sooner more likely, than later, full armed conflict will result. History shows that when deterrence fails, wars follow soon after. We have a global perception of Western failing deterrent standing, caused by inept leadership, too much grandstanding, and too little effective (deterrence/alliance strenght building) actions. It is very simple FAILED DETERRENCE= WAR!

The real way ahead, is for SKorea to start paying the price and for building its own security systems/forces; and it must ensure it has absolutely capable forces, which will create a deterrent force, reducing the risk of war; SKorea must have such competent and capable forces that NKorea will not test its luck. These forces need to be by far more competent and far superior in every aspect of military measurement, then peace/stability are more likely.
Just look at the situation faced by Ukraine, for example as to what occurs when you have inept leadership, inept military forces, inept strategy, in a historically high risk region, combined with sub-standard defensive systems..... A BAD SITUATION getting worse by the day.
In Response

by: Anonymous
April 25, 2014 9:39 PM
No matter how much you use big words, flaying scenarios...all that matters is we have the most nuke bro...and for the record, incase you haven't noticed we've been in war for along time now weather big, or small...and russia, knew they would never get their money back when the dad ruled...everything boils down to who has the most, and honestly we have the most...Daddy, Son, Bush and Halliburton made sure of that...I love being an american, the problem I'm having is people who think we aren't the greatest claim to be proud americans...I find nothing proud in bashing your own country...but at the end of they day I respect your opinion, and muturally understand your truths.

by: Bearman from: U.S.A.
April 25, 2014 7:56 AM
I can imagine that North Korea received a severe finger wagging once again. Promises of sanctions perhaps. How can North Korea stand all of that pressure?

by: Charles Onyango from: Kenya
April 25, 2014 5:30 AM
North Korea has shown that they disrespect human lives by engaging in deadly weapon tests and the globe should take a stern action against it

by: Ola from: Nigeria
April 25, 2014 5:21 AM
For how long will N.korea keep on threatening the world world. Obama, pls end this thing once and for all

by: Gill limon from: Rancho mirage
April 25, 2014 2:10 AM
There seems to be no more leadership in the international community no nation should be a bully no matter if its a superpower or not. any country that violates international law,should be dealt with.with the force of the world like the united nation. This force should not be a joke its all of us the world no matter if its the united states,Russia,china we must believe in ourselves as human beings in the future of man kind your children our children no more nuclear testing anymore our climate is changing our ozone layer is depleted don't you guys understand united we stand the world united peace is possible.nation united can make our future possible. Gods angel gods enforcer.

by: peter from: bredasdorp
April 25, 2014 2:05 AM
Only one country used atomic bombings and thousands (millions?) died for many years after the bombing. Refer to Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

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