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Obama Rules Out N. Korean Reward for Provocations

Posted June. 08, 2009 00:33,   


U.S. President Barack Obama has toughened his stance on North Korea, saying that Washington will not continue to reward Pyongyang for its provocations.

The U.S. Defense Department, however, ruled out the possibility of a military response to the North.

Prior to attending a ceremony in Normandy, France, to mark the 65th anniversary of D-Day Saturday, President Obama told a news conference after meeting with French President Sharkozy in Caen, “North Korea`s actions over the last several months have been extraordinarily provocative,” adding, “They have made no bones about the fact that they are testing nuclear weapons, testing missiles that potentially would have intercontinental capacity.”

In signaling a change in policy toward North Korea, the U.S. president said, “We are not intending to continue a policy of rewarding provocation.”

He said Washington is carefully considering ways to move forward on North Korean issues, but also warned the North. “I don`t think that there should be an assumption that we will simply continue down a path in which North Korea is constantly destabilizing the region and we just react in the same ways by, after they`ve done these things for a while, then we reward them,” he said.

Obama said he prefers diplomacy, but expressed his disappointment over the North, saying, “Diplomacy has to involve the other side engaging in a serious way in trying to solve problems. And we have not seen that kind of reaction from North Korea.”

In Washington, U.S. Defense Department spokesman Geoff Morrell said also Saturday that the Pentagon is not focusing on a military response to the North, adding many prefer persuading North Korea through diplomatic and economic pressure.

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