President Barack Obama warned North Korea its plan to fire a long-range rocket undermined prospects for future negotiations as the military in Seoul said Kim Jong Un’s forces had moved the missile to its launch site.
Obama, who peered through binoculars into the North as he toured the Demilitarized Zone yesterday, spoke at a meeting in the South Korean capital with President Lee Myung Bak. He’ll hold talks today with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Chinese President Hu Jintao as they gather for a nuclear security summit aimed at keeping fissile material out of the hands of terrorists.
Kim, who took over when his father Kim Jong Il died in December, is putting at risk 240,000 metric tons of food aid from the U.S. even as many of his people go hungry. Obama, who faces an election this year, is using his trip to increase pressure on North Korea and Iran over their nuclear programs.
The rocket launch “would constitute a direct violation” of North Korea’s commitments and obligations and “seriously undermine the prospects of future negotiations,” Obama said. “North Korea will achieve nothing by threats or by provocations.”