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Obama On North Korea


A giant offshore crane salvages the bow section of the South Korean naval ship Cheonan. (AP Photo/Yonhap, Choi Jae-ku, File)

North Korea's attack on the South Korean corvette, the Cheonan, is unacceptable.

Speaking at a G-20 nation press conference in Toronto, Canada, President Barack Obama had these words concerning the March 26th attack by North Korea on a South Korean corvette, the Cheonan, which killed 46 South Korean sailors:

"With respect to North Korea, our main focus right now is in the U.N. Security Council making sure that there is a crystal-clear acknowledgment that North Korea engaged in belligerent behavior that is unacceptable to the international community. And the United States participated in the investigation that was conducted around the Cheonan. Our experts concluded that North Korea had carried out that attack. That was consistent with South Korea's assessment and others who were observers in the process."

President Obama commended South Korea's President Lee Myung-bak for his statesmanship in meeting the crisis:

"I think President Lee has shown extraordinary restraint given these circumstances. And it is absolutely critical that the international community rally behind him, and send a clear message to North Korea that this kind of behavior is unacceptable and that the international community will continue to step up pressure until it makes a decision to follow a path that is consistent with international norms."

President Obama expressed his belief that other G-20 nations as they look at the evidence will also come to the conclusion that North Korea's actions are unacceptable. The international community, he said, must break the habit of shying away "from ugly facts with respect to North Korea's behavior in the interests of – or under the illusion that - that will somehow help to maintain the peace."

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