Obama to North Korea: Expect 'firm response' if nuclear test happens

 

President Obama warned North Korea on Friday that if the country were to engage in another nuclear test, the regime could expect a "firm response" from the international community. 

In an interview with Korea's JoongAng Daily, the president vowed to work with international partners to increase pressure on North Korea, whose provocative actions would pose a threat to South Korea, Japan and the United States, he said.

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The interview comes as reports surfaced in the region that North Korea was threatening to conduct a fourth nuclear test. The regime last conducted a test in February 2013.

"Pyongang will gain absolutely nothing from another nuclear test except to deepen its own isolation from the global community," Obama said. 

He continued to emphasize that there is "still another path" for North Korea, saying the country can "meet its obligations, relinquish its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, and come into compliance with its international commitments."

"That is the only way that North Korea can obtain the respect, lasting security and economic progress it seeks," the president continued. 

In the lead-up to Obama's visit, the foreign ministry in North Korea said the trip by the president was a "reactionary and dangerous one aimed to escalate confrontation and bring dark clouds of a nuclear arms race to hang over this unstable region."

The visit to South Korea is part of Obama's week-long visit to the region.