U.S. President Barack Obama and South Korean President Park Geun-hye made a summit meeting on Friday at the White House and affirmed that they will not accept North Korea as a nuclear state.
The meeting focused on North Korea’s growing nuclear arsenal and both of the leaders agreed that North Korea would be welcome to roundtable talks if it was ready to curb its nuclear programs. They discussed whether the Iran deal that was reached by Obama and five other world powers could serve as a model for getting North Korea to abandon its nuclear plans, but it seems that the country will continue its isolation.
They issued a joint statement condemning the North Korean human rights situation and called it “deplorable” and in need of “utmost urgency and determination” in a similar manner as the urgency to address the North Korean advancing nuclear and ballistic weapons proliferation.
Obama and Park pledged an allegiance to make a mutual effort to defend the peace of the Korean peninsula if North Korea makes an attempt of provocation or aggression. Obama also said that the countries should make an effort to improve relations with neighboring countries and countries with which they have had troubled history, for example the United States has engaged with Cuba and Iran.
According to Reuters, Park has reiterated this stance while attending the Beijing military parade last month marking the end of World War II where she was photographed along with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Raising eyebrows in Washington with this appearance, Park said it is important to have coordination regarding North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and that “newly consolidated efforts” with the United States, South Korea and China would be most welcome in dealing with North Korean issues.
However, the senior U.S. diplomat for East Asia, Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel said that the United States welcome the improvement of bilateral ties between Seoul and Beijing. Obama also reiterated this stance saying that there is no contradiction in South Korea having relations with both the United States and China and that he supports Korea’s policies towards China.
Another topic that was put on table was the 12 nation Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement and according to Reuters, Park said that her country and the United States would be cooperating closely on a possible South Korean participation in the trade agreement. Park stated that South Korea would be a natural partner for the TPP, because of existing trade agreements of her country with other Pacific nations and the two way trade agreement they have with the United States.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye is set to have a three way summit meeting in November with Japan and China to discuss the stability of Northeast Asia and to deepen bilateral ties with Tokyo.