Korean Peninsula Tension

CNC reporting from WASHINGTON
Added On May 8, 2013

The United States and South Korea have promised to united in their determination to deter any threats from the DPRK and they are eager to begin an engagement with the DPRK  if Pyongyang changes its behavior.
 
The move comes at South Korea's new president, Park Geun-Hye makes her first official trip abroad to Washington.

Calling her meeting with Obama a heart to heart talk, President Park Geun-Hye and Mr Obama held a White House press conference afterwards on Tuesday.

Obama said Pyongyang had won no benefits or prestige from recent war threats.

SOUNDBITE: BARACK OBAMA, U.S. President:
"If Pyongyang thought its recent threats would drive a wedge between South Korea and the United States, or somehow garner the North international respect, today is further evidence that North Korea has failed again."

Both said that if Pyongyang changes its behavior, Washington and Seoul are eager to begin an engagement with the DPRK.....

SOUNDBITE: BARACK OBAMA, U.S. President:
"Our two nations are prepared to engage with North Korea diplomatically, and over time build trust. But as always, and as President Park has made clear, the burden is on Pyongyang to make meaningful steps to abide by its commitments and obligations, particularly the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula"

SOUNDBITE: PARK GEUN-HYE, South Korea President:
"I take this opportunity to send a clear message once again: North Korea will not be able to survive if it only clings to developing its nuclear weapons at the expense of its people’s happiness. Concurrently pursuing nuclear arsenals and economic development can by no means succeed. This is the shared view of the view of the other members of the Six-Party talks and the international community. However, should North Korea choose the path to becoming a responsible member of the community of nations, we are willing to provide assistance, together with the international community."

The two leaders also pledged to boost their one year old Free Trade Agreement and military alliance.

Park, the first female leader in Northeast Asia, picked the United States for her first overseas trip since she assumed the presidency in February.

She is scheduled to deliver a speech before the Congress on Wednesday.

Analysts say the tough stance expressed by the two leaders may spark a strong reaction from Pyongyang.

Tensions have been running high between the two neighbors on the Korean Peninsula.

In recent weeks, Pyongyang has repeatedly threatened war on the U.S. and South Korea, following a series of military drills by the two allies.