AAP staff report
Washington, D.C. (December 6, 2010) – President Barack Obama on Sunday evening phone call with China’s President Hu Jintao to discuss North Korea. The two Presidents agreed to work on common interests of peace and stability in Northeast Asia, and for a priority concern of ensuring the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula continues.
President Obama emphasized to President Hu the need for North Korea to halt its provocative behavior and to meet its international obligations, including commitments in the 2005 Six Party Joint Declaration. He condemned its shelling of a South Korean island on November 23 and for pursuing a uranium enrichment program in defiance of earlier agreements – including a side conversation on Iran.
Obama urged China to work to send a clear message to North Korea that its provocations are unacceptable. He also highlighted the American commitment to the security of our allies in the region.
On December 1, the U.S. House of Representatives passed Resolution (H.Res. 1735) by a vote of 403-2, condemning North Korea in the strongest terms for its unprovoked military attack against South Korea.
“The United States stands shoulder to shoulder with our friend and ally South Korea in opposition to North Korea’s unprovoked artillery attack against the island of Yeonpyeong that was carried out on November 23, 2010,” stated U.S. Congressman Steve Rothman (D-NJ), a member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee and cosponsor of the Resolution. “This was a heinous act that cost the lives of innocent South Koreans and is only the latest outrage from the tyrannical and brutish regime in North Korea.”
Rothman said that North Korea must end its aggression and immediately begin working with its neighbors toward regional stability and peace. He said the attack was unacceptable and that North Korea must agree to be a responsible member of the international community and live up to the commitments it made under the six-party talks on its nuclear programs in 2005.
“I urge the Obama Administration to continue doing all that it can to address North Korea’s deadly and dangerous behavior as quickly as possible,” he added. “The U.S. must continue to stand in solidarity with our ally and close friend the Republic of Korea. Our goal must be to protect her and to achieve a just peace and lasting stability in Northeast Asia.”