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Obama, Ban urge N.K. to end `belligerent approach`

Posted April. 13, 2013 03:27,   


U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday urged North Korea to stop its "belligerent approach. After meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the White House, the U.S. president said: "Now is the time for North Korea to end the kind of belligerent approach that they have been taking, and to try to lower temperatures. Nobody wants to see a conflict on the Korean Peninsula."

Urging the North to abide by the basic international rules and regulations, including U.N. sanctions, Obama said, "We will continue to try to work to resolve some of those issues diplomatically, even as I indicated to the secretary-general that the United States will take all necessary steps to protect its people and to meet our obligations under our alliances in the region."

The UN chief expressed concern over the continued tensions on the peninsula and urged Pyongyang to not confront the international community. "I really highly commended President Obama`s firm, principled, but measured response," Ban said. The UN chief hoped that more of the neighboring countries, including China, that have influences over North Korea, should exercise their leadership to resolve the situation peacefully.

Separately, the UN chief sent a direct message in the Korean language to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Appearing on CNN`s "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer," Ban urged the North Korean leader to refrain from provocative acts and return to the "window of opportunity" to resolve all issues through dialogue for ultimate peace and reunification of the peninsula. Ban told Blitzer that he was speaking both as the UN secretary-general and a South Korean citizen. A UN official said that after the meeting with the U.S. president, Ban promptly accepted CNN`s offer to appear on the program because of the severity of the situation.