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Obama warns N. Korea against nuclear threats



SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - President Barack Obama warned North Korea on Saturday that the United States "will not hesitate to use our military might" to defend allies, showcasing U.S. power in the region amid China's growing influence and Pyongyang's unpredictable nuclear threats.

Obama's visit to Seoul comes as North Korea has threatened to conduct its fourth nuclear test, leading Obama to raise the possibility of further sanctions.

"The commitment that the United States of America has made to the security of the Republic of Korea only grows stronger in the face of aggression," Obama said in a speech to some of the 28,000 American service members stationed in South Korea to keep watch on its northern neighbor. "Our alliance does not waiver with each bout of their attention seeking. It just gains the support of the rest of the world."

The website 38 North, which closely monitors North Korea, said commercial satellite imagery from Wednesday showed increased movement of vehicles and materials near what are believed to be the entrances to two completed tunnels at Punggye-ri nuclear test site. The movements could be preparations for an underground atomic explosion, although predicting underground tests is notoriously difficult.

Obama ridiculed North Korea's attempt to show force. "Anybody can make threats," he said. "Anyone can move an army. Anyone can show off a missile. That doesn't make you strong."

He said real strength comes from having an open participatory democracy, open markets and a society free to speak out against its government.

"We don't use our military might to impose these things on others, but we will not hesitate to use our military might to defend our allies and our way of life," Obama said to cheers from the uniformed troops who filled a field house at Yongsan Garrison, headquarters for U.S. forces in South Korea.

Obama's 10-minute speech followed a rare joint defense briefing with South Korean President Park Geun-hye that focused on efforts to counter the North's nuclear ambitions. U.S. Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, the commander of the joint U.S.-South Korea command, told the two presidents that his team "works together every day to make sure that we defend the Republic of Korea and that we deter North Korea."

Following his remarks, Obama was heading to Malaysia, the third stop on his four-country Asia swing. The mission of the trip was to underscore U.S. commitment to the region at a period of uncertainty between North Korea's provocations and China's growing power. While the U.S. has long been the most powerful military influence in the Asia-Pacific region, Pentagon spending is being slashed at the same time China has been boosting its defense budget.

Beijing still lags far behind the U.S. in both military funding and technology. But its spending boom is attracting new scrutiny at a time of severe cuts in U.S. defense budgets that have some questioning Washington's commitments to its Asian allies, including some who have lingering disputes with China.

At the same time, the U.S. military is seeking to redirect resources to the Asia-Pacific as it draws down its commitment in Afghanistan, though there is concern that budget cuts could threaten plans to base 60 percent of U.S. naval assets in the region. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert recently warned that U.S. capabilities to project power "would not stay ahead" of potential adversaries, given the fiscal restraints.

Earlier Saturday, Obama promoted trade between the U.S. and South Korea with executives from businesses including Hyundai, Samsung, Korean Air, Microsoft, Boeing, Goldman Sachs and others. "As important as the security relationship is and the alliance is between the Republic of Korea and the United States, what is also important is the incredible and growing economic ties that are creating jobs and opportunity in both countries," Obama said.

While in Seoul, Obama has paid tribute to victims from last week's ferry disaster. The vast majority of the 300 dead or missing were students from a single high school near the capital city.

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lancesammy April 26 2014 at 8:35 AM

all talk and no action

Flag Reply +3 rate up
clahagin April 26 2014 at 8:10 AM

Yeah - ok ,..thanks that'l do Barry ,....

( Go get'rr Ray )

Flag Reply +2 rate up
scottee April 26 2014 at 8:08 AM

boy, he's just enjoying luxury travel all around the world while making enemies of the US. the documentary, 2016, explained almost everything. curious that the sheeple wanted to make history over choosing someone actually qualified for the job.

Flag Reply +13 rate up
Tom King April 26 2014 at 11:54 AM

OBAMA, PLEASE STOP ALL THE LIES

Mr. Obama and his administration are just ignoring the fact that they spent 5 Billion trying to influence the Ukraine Gov. and that they orchestrated the Coup of Victor Yanukovich and NOW they are making Stupid, Insulting, Repugnant and Scathing remarks and through their Stupid Posturing, they are just making matters worse. They are blaming Mr. Putin for his intervention in the Crimea and Totally ignoring the Political Disaster in Kiev, which was created with both the US Gov and EU support and caused the deaths of over 100 people. They are placing sanctions against Russia when the US and EU are responsible for the whole problem. What is their RATIONALE?

WHY is the US Government backing the Radical Right, Neo-Fascist, Svoboda THUGS that have illegally taken over the Ukraine Government by FORCE that was voted in by legitimate elections? These men are part of the Right, Radical, Neo-Fascist, Svoboda Groups, who used FORCE to over throw Victor Yanukovich the duly elected Ukraine President.

OBAMA'S OBSESSION with Ukraine is just a DIVERSION to get the American Citizens from FOCUSING on ALL THE PROBLEMS with the GRID LOCK IN WASHINGTON and that NOTHING CONSTRUCTIVE IS BEING DONE to solve the many problems here in the USA. That his Presidency IS A FAILURE and the US is on the verge of Bankruptcy and Revolution and he has plunged the US into a 16 Trillion Dollar Debt that will be passed onto our children and grand children.

PLEASE STOP ALLTHE LIES. HOW STUPID DO YOU THINK THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE?

FACTS:
The US Gov. has spent over 5 Billion Dollars trying to influence the Ukraine Government. WHY? FOR WHAT? WHAT do they want with Ukraine? What is their Rationale?

The US along with the EU backed the COUP of Victor Yanukovich and are responsible for the deaths of over 100 people and they TOTALLY IGNORE their participation. They act like it NEVER HAPPENED.

The self-imposed Right Radical, Neo-Fascist, Svoboda leaders in Ukraine did so by force and now they are using the Ukraine military against their own citizens in the Eastern part of Ukraine, who have peacefully proclaimed their self-determination but they have done NOTHING to stop the Radical Groups still rioting in Kiev and who still occupy the buildings that they occupied during the Coup of Victor Yanukovich

OBAMA is controlling the US NEWS Media thus giving the American people false information trying to sway them to be against Mr. Putin and Russia.

MR. OBAMA, PLEASE STOP ALLTHE LIES. HOW STUPID DO YOU THINK THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE?

Thank You
Tom King
A US Citizen and Patriot

Flag Reply +8 rate up
prncaragorn April 26 2014 at 7:59 AM

They'll only understand if he says "if you like your nukes you can keep them"... Maybe a double-dog dare which he's so good at. Finally make pajama-boy sec. of state so they see he's serious coupled with a really mean tweet or two.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
hermgreene April 26 2014 at 11:54 AM

You guys have said it better than I could have , Thanks

Flag Reply +3 rate up
plewdawg April 26 2014 at 7:55 AM

All this with Syria, North Korea, and Russia have been "dog dares". Wait until he gives them the DOUBLE DOG DARE, then you will see them shudder.

Flag Reply +8 rate up
wynn12 April 26 2014 at 11:55 AM

The traveling warning giver strikes again..Give it up President Fraud. Nobody cares about your worthless threats !!

Flag Reply +11 rate up
1 reply
philips0811 wynn12 April 26 2014 at 12:10 PM

You should capitalize your excellent title for our President, "Traveling Warner". See how much more impressive it is? Other titles: " Celebrity Spokespresident," Commander (tongue) In Cheek". and so on. Add your own, and we can compile a list.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
redletter2008 April 26 2014 at 11:57 AM

I am sure the N. Koreans, like the Russians, Chinese, Iranians and too many others, are shaking in their "jack" boots in the wake of this terrifying "threat" from America's utterly "intimidating" President! When you spend most of your time attacking your domestic political opposition, while bending (or bowing) over backwards to "be nicer" to thugs in Iran, Russia, Syria & China, you are not going to be taken seriously when hollow threats (like meaningless Red Lines) are issued. Despite Obama's threats and red lines, Russia has duped him into ditching our missile defense program (outrageous), taking Crimea, and next eastern Ukraine, without any serious Western reprisals yet; China is threatening to take Japanese and Filipino islands in "disputed" waters; N. Korea openly threatens to nuke not just S. Korea and Japan, but the U.S.; Iran continues to move closer to development of nuclear weapons and Syria continues to slaughter its own people and still possesses chemical weapons which were supposed to be long gone. There are consequences for abject American weakness - at home and abroad. Thanks a lot Barack!

Flag Reply +11 rate up
1 reply
marchesiello5 redletter2008 April 26 2014 at 12:05 PM

and Obama's first mistake was going to other country to apologize for the mean and bad American people. I can not believe the American people voted the idiot dictator back in office to continue destroying America. Or was it just fraud voting?

Flag Reply +6 rate up
1 reply
redletter2008 marchesiello5 April 26 2014 at 12:12 PM

I would agree that Mr. Obama was elected for all the wrong reasons. However, his election in 2008 is more understandable (given the political, economic and world climate at the time) than his re-election in 2012. The more horrific mistake by Americans was in 2012. First, the GOP nominated a highly flawed, overconfident candidate (though likely the best in a very weak field). Then, millions of voters inclined to vote against Obama simply sat at home. Obama and Dems will make us all pay for that mistake. The Senate must be taken out of the evil hands of dirty liar Harry Reid, and kept out of the corrupt hands of Nancy Pelosi, then Americans need to focus on a new President who will lead us out of the nightmare of the Obama-era beginning in 2016.

Flag +4 rate up
Richard April 26 2014 at 11:58 AM

He will draw another red line, and when someone crosses his red line he will say, "Now Your on My Side, Welcome". What a Maroon.

Flag Reply +14 rate up
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