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Remarks on the Situation in North Korea

May 25, 2009

Good morning, everybody. We are on our way to Arlington to remember the fallen and those who have served America with extraordinary valor. But before I go there, I wanted to say a few words about North Korea's announcement that it has conducted a nuclear test, as well as its decision to attempt a short-range missile launch.

North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs pose a great threat to the peace and security of the world, and I strongly condemn their reckless action. North Korea's actions endanger the people of Northeast Asia, they are a blatant violation of international law, and they contradict North Korea's own prior commitments.

Now, the United States and the international community must take action in response. The record is clear. North Korea has previously committed to abandoning its nuclear program. Instead of following through on that commitment, it has chosen to ignore that commitment. Its actions have also flown in the face of United Nations resolutions. As a result, North Korea is not only deepening its own isolation, it's also inviting stronger international pressure. That's evident overnight, as Russia and China as well as our traditional allies of South Korea and Japan have all come to the same conclusion: North Korea will not find security and respect through threats and illegal weapons.

And we will work with our friends and allies to stand up to this behavior, and we will redouble our efforts toward a more robust international nonproliferation regime that all countries have responsibilities to meet. In this effort, the United States will never waiver from our determination to protect our people and the peace and security of the world.

Thank you, guys.

Note: The President spoke at 10:39 a.m. in the Rose Garden at the White House.

Barack Obama, Remarks on the Situation in North Korea Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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