Published: Thursday, May 9, 2013

US, S Korea vow no concessions to North

The leaders of the United States and South Korea on Tuesday vowed no concessions to North Korea after months of high tension, saying the burden was on the communist state to end the crisis.
In a choreographed show of unity, US President Barack Obama and South Korean President Park Geun-Hye pledged to bolster defense cooperation and demanded that North Korea change course on its nuclear program before any new talks.
“The days when North Korea could create a crisis and elicit concessions — those days are over,” Obama told a White House news conference with Park.
Obama said that he and Park agreed in talks that “we are not going to reward provocative behavior” but kept the door open to eventual talks if North Korea’s young leader Kim Jong-Un decides to embrace “a peaceful path.”
“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,” Obama said.
Tensions have appeared to subside since earlier this year when North Korea carried out its third atomic test and vowed to prepare for nuclear war against the United States, in remarks shrill even by Pyongyang’s standards.
A US defense official said that North Korea has shifted two medium-range Musudan missiles away from a launch site, signaling that — at least for the time being — the regime has no imminent plans to test-fire them.