Obama: No nukes for N. Korea; talks OK

President Obama, joined by South Korean President Lee Myung-bak in the Rose Garden of the White House, warned Tuesday that North Korea will never be accepted as a nuclear power, but he offered to negotiate with the country's leaders about a path toward peace.

With the White House meeting between Obama and Lee coming just days after the United Nations Security Council passed its harshest sanctions yet on the North, Obama said that the U.S. and the international community will "pursue a sustained and robust effort" to implement those sanctions.

ADVERTISEMENT
Or as Lee put it: "Under no circumstances are we going to allow North Korea to possess nuclear weapons."

Obama agreed, noting that the U.N. sanctions came with the agreement of Japan, Russia and China, sanctions North Korea said it interprets as an act of war.

"So we have not come to the conclusion that North Korea will or should be a nuclear power," Obama said, calling that end a "destabilizing" development for U.S. and world security.

Lee was asked by one reporter if South Koreans feel they are under the threat of imminent attacks from their neighbor to the north.

The South Korean president said there have been "numerous amounts of threats" since the suspension of the Korean War 60 years ago.

"We have always been very firm in our response and very prepared," Lee said.

He added the warning that because of the country's close relationship with the U.S., North Korea "will think twice about taking any measures that they will regret."

"North Korea may wish to [attack], but of course they will not do so," Lee said.