While attending an international nuclear summit in South Korea, President Barack Obama addressed the problems caused by the nuclear programs in North Korea and Iran. Obama warned both countries that their refusal to back down will limit their options and number of allies.
"By now it should be clear," Obama said, addressing North Korea from Seoul's Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. "Your provocations and pursuit of nuclear weapons have not achieved the security you seek, they have undermined it. Instead of the dignity you desire, you are more isolated."
A White House official said Obama urged Chinese President Hu Jintao to use his country's influence over North Korea to push the isolated country to meet its international obligations, according to MSNBC.com. Ben Rhodes, Obama's deputy national security advisor, said Hu indicated that China was taking North Korea's planned rocket launch seriously and letting its concerns be known to the North's leaders.
CBSNews.com reports that the president reiterated his warning to Iran, which the U.S. and its allies believe is defying its international obligations by pursuing an illegal nuclear program.
"Iran's leaders must understand that there is no escaping the choice before it," Obama said. "Iran must act with the seriousness and sense of urgency that this moment demands. Iran must meet its obligations."
According to USAToday.com, Obama declared that the U.S. has more nuclear weapons than it needs and can cut its arsenal without weakening its security or that of its allies.
Obama also met on the sidelines of the summit with outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Follwoing their meeting, Obama and Medvedev acknowledged continued tensions between their countries on key issues, including Syria and missile defense, reported USAToday.com. But despite their differences, Medvedev says the relationship between the U.S. and Russia has reached its "best level."
Facing down Iran and North Korea, Obama said a "new international norm" was emerging to deal with the two nations' stubborness, according to MSNBC.com.
"Treaties are binding. Rules will be enforced. And violations will have consequences," Obama said.
Photo by AN HONORABLE GERMAN.