(WASHINGTON) — Meeting South Korea’s newest leader for the first time on Tuesday, President Obama vowed that their two countries “are as united as ever. And faced with new international sanctions, North Korea is more isolated than ever.”
Park Geun-hye was elected her nation’s first woman president in February. Her brief time in office has been tumultuous, with Pyongyang having conducted a nuclear test earlier this year and threatening to test launch mid-range missiles with the potential of carrying nuclear warheads.
What’s more, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has invalidated the armistice agreement that ended the Korean War in 1953.
Despite all these provocations, Obama told reporters, “The days when North Korea could create a crisis and elicit concessions — those days are over.”
Park agreed with that assessment, adding that 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.”
Park is the daughter of South Korea dictator Park Chung Hee, who ruled the country from 1961 until his assassination in 1979. Her mother was also killed during a failed assassination attempt on her father in 1974.
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Ralph Ellis and Steve Almasy, CNN
Kareem Khadder, CNN
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