“No Hostile Intent” Toward North Korea: US President Obama at Hankuk University

[The following are excerpts of a speech by US President Barack Obama to students of Hankuk University in Seoul, ROK. The text is from a release by the White House Office of the Press Secretary, dated “For Immediate Release March 26, 2012, 10:32 a.m. KST, Seoul, Republic of Korea”. We have pulled out those sections of the speech related directly to the DPRK. –CanKor]

US President Barack Obama speaks to DPRK leaders during a speech at Hankuk University in Seoul on Monday. (Photo by Susan Walsh/AP)

(…)

Here in Korea, I want to speak directly to the leaders in Pyongyang. The United States has no hostile intent toward your country. We are committed to peace. And we are prepared to take steps to improve relations, which is why we have offered nutritional aid to North Korean mothers and children.

But by now it should be clear, your provocations and pursuit of nuclear weapons have not achieved the security you seek; they have undermined it. Instead of the dignity you desire, you’re more isolated. Instead of earning the respect of the world, you’ve been met with strong sanctions and condemnation. You can continue down the road you are on, but we know where that leads. It leads to more of the same — more broken dreams, more isolation, ever more distance between the people of North Korea and the dignity and the opportunity that they deserve.

And know this: There will be no rewards for provocations. Those days are over. To the leaders of Pyongyang I say, this is the choice before you. This is the decision that you must make. Today we say, Pyongyang, have the courage to pursue peace and give a better life to the people of North Korea. (Applause.) Read the rest of this entry »

United Kingdom Statement on the death of Kim Jong Il

[The following Statement was issued by the UK Foreign Secretary William Hague on the death of the North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, on 19 December 2011. –CanKor]

The people of North Korea are in official mourning after the death of Kim Jong Il. We understand this is a difficult time for them.

This could be a turning point for North Korea. We hope that their new leadership will recognise that engagement with the international community offers the best prospect of improving the lives of ordinary North Korean people.

We encourage North Korea to work for peace and security in the region and take the steps necessary to allow the resumption of the Six Party Talks on denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula”.

Canadian PM Statement on the death of Kim Jong Il

Canadian PM Stephen Harper

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement on the death of Kim Jong-il:

“Kim Jong-il will be remembered as the leader of a totalitarian regime who violated the basic rights of the North Korean people for nearly two decades.
“We hope his passing brings positive change allowing the people of North Korea to emerge from six decades of isolation, oppression and misery. The regime’s reckless decisions have resulted in North Korea being an impoverished nation and a country isolated from the international community because of its dangerous nuclear proliferation and ballistic missile programs.
“At this critical juncture, we urge North Korea to close this sad chapter in its history and to work once more towards promoting both the well-being of its people and stability on the Korean peninsula.”

Statement on PM Harper’s website.
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