Obama: 'North Korea has failed again'
May 7th, 2013
03:36 PM ET
1 year ago

Obama: 'North Korea has failed again'

Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama and South Korean President Park Geun-hye said Tuesday nuclear aggression from North Korea has further isolated the region and vowed to use all means to deter further provocations.

"If Pyongyang thought its recent threats would drive a wedge between South Korea and the United States or somehow garner the North international respect, today is further evidence that North Korea has failed again," Obama said during a joint press conference with the two leaders. "The United States and the Republic of Korea are as united as ever ... North Korea is more isolated than ever."

Obama said North Korea's manufactured crises will no long elicit concessions and committed to protecting the United States and its allies.

"The United States is fully prepared and capable of defending ourselves and our allies with the full range of capabilities available, including the deterrence provided by our conventional and nuclear forces," Obama said. "The commitment of the United States to the security of the Republic of Korea will never waver."

President Park, South Korea's first female president, said she will "by no means tolerate North Korea's threats and provocations, which have recently been escalating further."

She took office in February, shortly before North Korea conducted its most recent nuclear test, and has since taken a tough stance over perceived aggression from the North.

In an interview with CBS Monday, Geun-hye said even a small attack would warrant a military response.

"Yes, we will make them pay," she told CBS News.

And at Tuesday's press conference she said "North Korea will not be able to survive if it only clings to developing its nuclear weapons at the expense of its people's happiness."

However, both presidents left the door open to a shift from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. On Monday, North Korea withdrew two mobile ballistic missiles from a launch site in the eastern part of the country, according to a U.S. official, the latest hint of an easing in tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

"We remain open to the prospect of North Korea taking a peaceful path of denuclearization, abiding by international commitments, rejoining the international community," Obama said.

President Obama and President Park met in the Oval Office with Vice President Joe Biden earlier in the day and had lunch before the press conference.

During this week's trip, which coincides with the 60th anniversary of a defense treaty between the two countries, President Park visited Arlington cemetery, met with military veterans and is scheduled to address a joint session of Congress Wednesday.

– CNN's Barbara Starr contributed to this report.


Filed under: North Korea • President Obama • South Korea
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. Romney is Still NOT My Hero

    Uh oh, President Obama – them there is fighting words. I know the GOPers are getting wet just thinking about it. Hopefully Lil Kim will get over himself and stop threatening war on everyone (sounds like a repub). God knows we don't need another war right now.

    May 7, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    "The United States is fully prepared and capable of defending ourselves and our allies with the full range of capabilities available, including the deterrence provided by our conventional and nuclear forces,"
    -----------------------------------------------–
    There you have Kim Jun Un. Provoke our President one more time and he's going to fire a rocket up your behind. You've been warned!

    May 7, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  3. Common Sense

    Either take a stance of doing something or not but do what you say you're going to do and stop with the BS as usual Obama.

    May 7, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  4. Johnp40

    Obama has failed again.

    May 7, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Johnp40
    Obama has failed again.
    -----------------------------------------
    Common Sense
    Either take a stance of doing something or not but do what you say you're going to do and stop with the BS as usual Obama.
    -----------------------------------------
    Tell me, besides for Pyongyang's tough talk, what did they actually do? Was a rocket launched? Was a shot fired? What failure are you talking about?

    May 7, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  6. plain&simple

    Obama has used diplomacy....expect the ignorant to see that as "failure".

    May 7, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  7. obama victim

    empty talk from an empty suit

    May 7, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  8. Lilli

    No more wars are conflicts untess the 53 percent and congress are going to fight them !!!

    May 7, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  9. Getoverit

    Uh oh, it's another red line. Watch out!

    May 7, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  10. Common Sense

    Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Johnp40
    Obama has failed again.
    -------------–
    Common Sense
    Either take a stance of doing something or not but do what you say you're going to do and stop with the BS as usual Obama.
    -------------–
    Tell me, besides for Pyongyang's tough talk, what did they actually do? Was a rocket launched? Was a shot fired? What failure are you talking about?
    -----
    Does Obama do what he says he's going to do or is it truly just political doubletalk/rhetoric?

    May 7, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  11. Common Sense

    If you don't back up your words you're nothing.

    May 7, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  12. Gurgyl

    Obama has failed by not going to war? Idiot lacks brain. Obama is doing excellent now on north Korea.

    May 7, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  13. Common Sense

    Inconsistencies in his position make him weak. Some people can't face facts.

    May 7, 2013 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  14. Independent

    @Gurygyl.....ya excellent now that is it estimated that they could have up to 10 nukes, ya that is excellent!!! Or did you miss that sorry on CNN???? NK stopping their nuke program would be excellent!! But on this one it is not entirely Obama's fault, it is the entire international community’s fault for not taking tough action, there are already numerous sanctions on NK they are obviously not working but by the time everyone realizes they should have taken tougher action it will be too late!

    May 7, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  15. California Gary

    Time to take the same approach that Reagan took with Libya.......next time this idiot spouts off about how he's going to kick America's behind, send a few bombers in at 4:00 in the morning to give him a little wake-up call. It sure shut Khadafi up........it would probably shut fat boy up too.

    May 7, 2013 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  16. Steve Hamilton

    The president is doing just what he should be doing. When he decides it's time to hit NK with a surgical bomb strike, he has laid the groundwork. My sense is that President Obama is following the path that Lincoln took in 1861, when he waited for the secessionists to bomb Fort Sumter. There is nothing to be gained by the US acting as though George W Bush were still in the White House. Lil Kim is like a 12 year old 7th grader, who can't wait to show off.

    May 7, 2013 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  17. grants

    No matter what Obama says.. there are winers that don't like him will cry cry like Rush Limboo..& other cry babbies on GOP side.. cry cry babaies.. Obama has done great job as a leader. or wait he could have just jumped as Bush did saying WOMD in Iraq and took us down in further hole.. Hello!! any GOP's with brains? sorry its an education thing they don't know!!

    May 7, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    "Either take a stance of doing something or not but do what you say you're going to do and stop with the BS as usual Obama."

    He DID do something. He levied the harshest sanctions yet to exist on North Korea, which is what caused them to throw this tantrum in the first place. "Doing something" isn't only defined as dropping bombs and killing civilians or mobilizing thousands and thousands of US troops as if preparing for a ground war. Grow up and get informed.

    May 7, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  19. Len

    All you folks that think President Obama should go to.war with NK , please make sure your kids or grandkids enlist and put your.skin in the game. President Obama bama understands diplomacy. Make sure your kids enlist.

    May 7, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  20. Common Sense

    Sniffit – You poor soul. You talk about growing up yet you haven't yourself and as far as being imformed you're obviously far from that also.

    Cry wolf much?

    May 7, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  21. Common Sense

    For the record dems war isn't the only option. Standing behind your words is what a man does.

    Obama is just a little boy like yourselves.

    Thanks for playing.

    May 7, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  22. Independent

    @all you Obama lovers, learn basic reading and writing please, at least try and sound educated when spouting off your nonsense!

    May 7, 2013 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  23. don in albuquerque

    Gotta love all these people who think he needs to back up his words with action. Of course it is a political game, morons. The best way to try to deal first is always in the words of their beloved W "catapulting the propaganda", or diplomacy. Or do you tin foil hat clubbers really think we could defeat China in an all out war? Lean too hard on NK and that is exactly what you will have. We have not had a very good track record at winning wars since................oh, the 60's and before.

    May 7, 2013 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  24. Len

    War lovers.....make sure your kids and grandkids enlist...put skin in the game.....
    comments anyone.....talk tough only if your skin is in the game.

    May 7, 2013 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  25. CB FL

    You people talk about BO like he is all talk. There is a old saying beware of the quiet ones. He is a smart man and will bring the young boy from NK to his knees.

    May 7, 2013 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
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