- NYT’s David Brooks: Obama has ‘manhood problem’ in Middle East
- Ted Cruz thanks Obama for denying visas to terrorists
- Survivors recall chaos, fear in Everest avalanche
- General Mills apologizes for ‘right to sue’ confusion, reverses policy
- Dealer wanted in U.S. for art fraud nabbed in Spain
- Easter morning delivery for space station
- Boxer Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter dies at 76
- Probe could complicate Rick Perry’s prospects
- Ukraine, Russia trade blame for eastern shootout
- Obamas head to church on Easter morning
Obama renews commitment to defend South Korea
The days in which North Korean leaders could manufacture an international crisis and extract concessions from its neighbors are over, President Obama declared during a news conference with South Korean President Park Geun-hye at the White House.
Mr. Obama renewed his pledge to continue to defend South Korea against nuclear threats and military incursions from North Korea, holding private talks with Ms. Park about the tense situation on the peninsula following a series of provocations over the past two months by the North’s untested young leader, Kim Jong-un.
“The commitment of the United States to the Republic of Korea will never waver,” Mr. Obama told reporters.
Mr. Obama also heaped praise on Ms. Park, the first democratically elected female leader in Northeast Asia, for facing down “threats and provocations that would test any nation” with the “calm and steady resolve that has defined your life.”
Late last week, Pyongyang removed two of its ballistic missile units from their launching positions in a sudden de-escalation of tension on the divided peninsula after months of belligerent rhetoric from Mr. Kim and other top Pyongyang officials. The move came after Seoul and Washington began a five-day anti-submarine drill in the Yellow Sea using a nuclear-powered Los Angeles-class submarine.
Inter-Korean relations were particularly strained over the U.S.-South Korean military drills and U.N. sanctions in March that sought to punish the North over its February nuclear test, the country’s third.
Last week, South Korea pulled out its last remaining citizens from a joint factory park in North Korea after Pyongyang withdrew all of its 53,000 workers. The park is the last symbol of inter-Korean rapprochement and an important source of hard currency.
North Korea suffered another financial blow Tuesday, when one of China’s biggest banks said it has halted business with a North Korean bank accused by the U.S. of financing Pyongyang’s missile and nuclear programs.
Ms. Park said she appreciated the “heart-to-heart” talk she had with Mr. Obama and stressed that the international community must continue to “speak with one voice” in rejecting North Korean threats.
She also predicted that North Korea would not survive if it continues “to cling to nuclear weapons at the expense of its people’s happiness.”
During their bilateral meeting, Ms. Park also noted, she and Mr. Obama discussed the importance of maintaining U.S. visas for highly skilled South Korean workers as Washington considers an overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws.
Ms. Park, who was elected in February, is visiting the United States to celebrate the anniversary of the U.S.-South Korea defense alliance. She is scheduled to address a joint session of Congress on Wednesday.
Ms. Park is the daughter of former South Korea dictator Park Chung-hee, and she served as the nation’s first lady after a 1974 assassination attempt against her father killed her mother instead. The gunman said he acted on orders from North Korea. Her father, who came to power in a military coup in 1961, was assassinated in 1979 by a member of his security forces.
• This article was based in part on wire service reports.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Susan Crabtree is an award-winning investigative reporter with more than 15 years of reporting experience in Washington, D.C. Her reporting about bribery, corruption and conflict-of-interest issues on Capitol Hill has led to several FBI and ethics investigations, as well as consequences for members within their caucuses and at the ballot box. Susan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- GOP senators want IG probe of Sebelius' 'Obamacare' fundraising
- Teaming up with Christie, Obama says Jersey shore 'back in business'
- No Moore: Obama flubs name of Oklahoma city devastated by tornado, calls it 'Monroe'
- Obama to Okla. tornado victims: 'We have got your back'
- Amid his own challenges, Obama calls on Navy grads to hold themselves accountable
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Women losing coverage under Obamacare, too
- Scalia to students on high taxes: At a certain point, 'perhaps you should revolt'
- Former Ranger breaks silence on Pat Tillman death: I may have killed him
- Special Forces' suicide rates hit record levels casualties of 'hard combat'
- Feds approve powdered alcohol; 'Palcohol' available later this year
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
- USAID documents cite Hillary Clinton in chaos of Afghan aid
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
- Glenn Beck takes on Hollywood with big movie production plans
- EXCLUSIVE: FBI blocked in corruption probe involving Sens. Reid, Lee
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.