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Obama to South Korea: Our ‘nuclear umbrella’ is protecting you

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

President Obama responded to the North Korean nuclear test by reassuring the South Korean government that the United State nuclear arsenal does and will continue to protect the Seoul from the dictatorship to the north.

“The President spoke to Republic of Korea President Lee Myung-bak this morning to consult and coordinate on the response to North Korea’s announced nuclear test,” the White House announced. “President Obama unequivocally reaffirmed that the United States remains steadfast in its defense commitments to the Republic of Korea, including the extended deterrence offered by the U.S. nuclear umbrella.”

North Korea detonated a nuclear bomb in an act of belligerence that alarmed its neighbors. “This is a highly provocative act that, following its December 12 ballistic missile launch, undermines regional stability, violates North Korea’s obligations under numerous United Nations Security Council resolutions, contravenes its commitments under the September 19, 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks, and increases the risk of proliferation,” Obama said in a statement. “North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs constitute a threat to U.S. national security and to international peace and security.”

Here’s the full readout pf Obama’s call with President Myung-bak:

The President spoke to Republic of Korea President Lee Myung-bak this morning to consult and coordinate on the response to North Korea’s announced nuclear test.  The two leaders condemned this highly provocative violation of North Korea’s international obligations.  They agreed to work closely together, including at the United Nations Security Council, to seek a range of measures aimed at impeding North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs and reducing the risk of proliferation.  President Obama unequivocally reaffirmed that the United States remains steadfast in its defense commitments to the Republic of Korea, including the extended deterrence offered by the U.S. nuclear umbrella.  The President also thanked President Lee for his leadership and friendship over the past four years and pledged to work closely with President-elect Park to further strengthen U.S.-ROK cooperation.

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