President Park Geun-hye received a telephone call from U.S. President Barack Obama this morning. The two leaders had an in-depth discussion on matters including their assessments of and future responses to North Korea’s fourth nuclear test for approximately 20 minutes.
President Obama said North Korea’s nuclear test undermined regional stability and violated its obligations under the UN Security Council resolutions and in the framework of the Six-Party Talks. He noted that he is placing the call to personally reassure President Park that the United States will take all necessary measures to safeguard the security of its ally and that the U.S. commitment to the defense of Korea is sacred and unwavering.
President Park expressed appreciation to President Obama for reaffirming the US commitment to the solid security of the Republic of Korea and his determination to resolutely deal with North Korea`s nuclear test, adding that she looked forward to close cooperation at the UN Security Council, among others, going forward. In addition, President Park also noted that the prompt release of statements of condemnation by both governments and the close cooperation between the two countries’ diplomatic and defense authorities serves to underscore the robustness of the Korea-US alliance.
As the international community, including the two nations, had repeatedly warned that North Korea’s nuclear test would never be condoned and would be met with consequences, the two leaders shared the view that North Korea must be made to pay a corresponding price and agreed to work closely together to ensure that a strong UN Security Council resolution against North Korea is promptly adopted. In particular, President Obama stressed the need to impose the toughest and most comprehensive sanctions against North Korea and said that the United States would cooperate closely with the Republic of Korea in this regard.
The two leaders agreed to address the North Korean nuclear issue with utmost urgency and determination, as agreed at their bilateral summit last October, and to move forward with consultations on various ways to resolve it. Additionally, the two leaders recognized the need for cooperation among Korea, the United States and Japan and for coordination with China, in dealing with the North Korean nuclear issue, including the recent test.
At the end of the phone conversation, President Obama offered congratulations to President Park for reaching an agreement on the comfort women issue, which has been a longstanding issue between the two countries. He also expressed high regards for President Park’s courage and vision in bringing the issue to a just conclusion and said he would provide full support for the implementation of the agreement. President Obama also said the agreement on the “comfort women” issue would strengthen the ability of Korea, the United States and Japan to respond jointly to the common challenge of North Korea’s nuclear test.
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