Obama: ‘North Korea Continues to Engage in Continuous Provocative Behavior’

‘In terms of overtures, we don’t take seriously a promise to simply halt until the next time they decide to do a test’


REPORTER: "North Korea launched a ballistic missile from a submarine on Saturday. Later North Korea’s foreign minister said that they will help a nuclear test at the U.S. Suspends its military exercises with South Korea. Do you view that as a serious overture and at this point how do you assess North Korea’s nuclear capability? And to chancellor Merkel, you both have spoken about the strong working relationship that the two of you have, as you look ahead to the end of President Obama’s term, how do you view the possibility of working with a new U.S. President who has called your refugee policy insane?"
OBAMA: "With respect to North Korea, we are still analyzing and assessing with precision the activities the North Koreans engaged in over the last several days. I will let the Pentagon and our intelligence community debrief everyone once we have precise information. It is clear that North Korea continues to engage in continuous provocative behavior. That they have been actively pursuing a nuclear program and an ability to launch nuclear weapons, and although more often than not they fail, and many of these tests, they gain knowledge each time they engage in these tests. And we take it very seriously. So do our allies and so does the entire world. It is for this reason why we have continually mobilized the international community to isolate North Korea, to crank up the sanctions that impose a cost on Kim Jong-un, and why we have cultivated crop or a with the Chinese to put pressure on north Korea. Although it is not where we would completely like it to be, I will say that we have seen the Chinese be more alarmed and take more seriously what North Korea is doing and they had been willing to be more forward leaning in exacting a price on North Korea’s destructive behavior. In terms of overtures, we don’t take seriously a promise to simply halt until the next time they decide to do a test. What we have said consistently, is that if north Korea shows seriousness indeed nuclear rising the Korean peninsula, then we will be prepared to enter interests with serious conversations with them about reducing pensions — tensions and our approach to protecting our allies in the region. That is not something that happens based on a press release. In the wake of a series of provocative behaviors. They are going to have to do better than that. Until they do, we will continue to emphasize our work with the republic of Korea and Japan and are missile-defense systems to make sure we are keeping the American people safe and we are keeping our allies say."

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