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. gwiz

    By the time NK builds a rocket that stays up longer than 42 seconds miniaturizes a nuclear weapon that fits accquires a GPS and rocket system to hit an actual populated american city his country will have starved to death theres no more SK food aid headed north and china has stopped investing in NK so lil kim has been choked off his missiles are a joke he only has 40000 troops that are equipped as well as us the other 4million fight with WW2 era soviet and 60s chinese weapons the BAM just needs to keep doin what hes doin and theyll be behind the rest of the world for another 20 years

    May 7, 2013 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  2. rs

    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????
    _____________________________ ________________
    Hey Indy- Nuclear weapons don't kill people, people kill people, just like the 2nd Amendment croud parrots.
    What? You don't like the odds of us outnumbering NK by about 2000 warheads to one?

    May 7, 2013 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  3. rs

    You Righties are a laugh- really you want ANOTHER war? Who's going to fight it (you chickenhawks)? Who's going to pay for it? Or is this another one of your "deficits don't matter" decisions.

    May 7, 2013 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  4. Patrick in Wisconsin

    It's nice to see all you conservatives would've launched an all out war on North Korea by this time. I sleep great at night knowing you are not running my country.

    May 7, 2013 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  5. John

    At this point does it really matter what "do nothing Obama says".

    May 7, 2013 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  6. od

    Anybody but Obama. I mean anybody. Hillary, Satan, Hitler and my favorite George Wallace.

    May 7, 2013 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  7. Just

    Uh oh how much will O give them?

    May 7, 2013 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  8. Duh!

    Wow, Obama - astute observation (NOT). You gonna wait 'til they succeed?????

    May 7, 2013 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  9. nightwriter

    To all those armchair quarterbacks whining about Obama, you have no credibility if you can't admit that things in America and internationally are waaaaay better than when GWB was around. You want to hate him, so you find reasons.

    May 7, 2013 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  10. Zack

    I don't believe that Obama has screwed up everything, and that he is at fault for every little thing wrong in this country. However, the national debt was at just over 10T at the time Bush left office, it is now closing in on 17T. Why have we not seen any relief from his great ideas and all he was going to do to fix this?

    May 7, 2013 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  11. lmc11

    That's funny coming from the USA's biggest failure ever!

    May 7, 2013 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  12. Thomas

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

    Dose that still mean I can own an assault rifle with a 30 round magazine ?

    For your information Mr. Independent , the Chines laid into the plump one "Kim Jong Un" about a two weeks ago and told him not to mess up there economy . And yesterday the North Koreans pulled there missals out of there launch sites.

    President Obama is doing a good job in regards to East Asian policy , after eight years of neglect from GW Bush.

    If you don't believe me just call a few random cell numbers in South Korea , Thailand, Vietnam , Malaysia , Singapore or China . Ask them .

    May 7, 2013 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  13. Conservatives are Knuckle Draggers

    War War War War War War War WarWar War War War War War War War War War War War War War War WarWar War War War War War War War

    is all conservatives know...WHY....it's what Jesus would do....

    Conservatives are a plague and conservatism is a mental disorder

    May 7, 2013 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    You people talk trash about Pres. Obamas "failure" but you know as well as I that his only other alternative is to attack NK. Something else you could complain about.

    May 7, 2013 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  15. EdL

    Never fear, should things grow worse in N Korea Obama will lay down one of his Red Lines and all will be well.

    May 7, 2013 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  16. Robby MacLure

    So, mission accomplished?

    May 7, 2013 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  17. jays

    Is there going to be a "red line" for North Korea just like he made with Syria?

    May 8, 2013 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  18. Amos

    I think is would be wise for the president and other U.S. government officials to not make any comments about North Korea. Kim Jong Un is unstable and anything could set him off again.

    May 8, 2013 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  19. Bill Sharp

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

    THIS IS EXTREMELY DISRESPECTFUL OF A WORLD LEADER. Would you EVER refer to Obama in one of your articles as "Barrack?" She is the president of a nation. "President" or "Preseident Park" would be appropriate. Think of it this way: Write it as if you were talking about the US President, then substitute "Obama" for "Park." You're CNN, not FOX. You're better than this and you know it.

    May 8, 2013 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  20. Viking

    don in albuquerque

    You sir, are the first american i hear who admit that US haven't won a war since their glory during WW2. Faith in reflected americans are somewhat restored.

    A full scale attack on N. Korea could very well be the cataclyst that sends the world into turmoil, like the shot in Sarajevo. In the worst case scenario this could draw the west into an hostile conflict with the east. In that case Russia would have the difficult choice to either honor their treaty with the US and aid, or side with China who in all other parts of the world than US is considered the most powerful force in the world. The US can't police the whole world with force. Obama and China did a great political job to make N. Korea back down. We just have to hope that the people of N. Korea either overthrows Kim Jung Un or that he realize that he is making the same mistake China made some hundred years ago by totally isolate itself from the world.

    Sorry for bad english, not my native tounge.

    May 8, 2013 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  21. KEVIN

    North Korea is not going to change for at least 50+ yrs. They TRULY worship their leader as a god and there exists no descension. North Korea's entire culture is completely opposite to that of the west

    May 8, 2013 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  22. Chisom

    @ grants

    "......................... or wait he could have just jumped as Bush did saying WOMD in Iraq and took us down in further hole........."

    President Bush was mandated to declare war on Iraq a Senate and Congress controlled by the Democrats. You all seem to forget that little fact. It is the congress that declares war not teh president!

    Having said that, I strongly believe that President Obama handled this NK issues excellently well. It is not yet over but so far so good.

    May 8, 2013 05:27 am at 5:27 am |
  23. conchytonker

    Obama, is a big talker....little action. He got that experience from being a community organizer!

    May 8, 2013 05:57 am at 5:57 am |
  24. progressive

    Nice one Obama.

    May 8, 2013 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  25. Barry Biden

    So...when the treat is all over, obozo FINALLY chimes in? That oughta scare'em!

    May 8, 2013 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
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