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Bush: International Community Remains Firm on North Korea

By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 25, 2006 – The international community remains united in achieving a diplomatic solution to North Korea’s nuclear testing, President Bush said here today.

In a White House news conference, Bush said Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice briefed him after her recent trip to Asia, and she reported that all the countries she visited understand they must work closely together to solve the problem peacefully. Rice met with leaders in Japan, South Korea, China and Russia.

Bush dismissed reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il threatened South Korea for joining international sanctions against the communist country. Kim likes to threaten and is simply doing so to test the will of the countries that are trying to convince him to turn away from nuclear weapon technology, Bush said.

“This is not the first time that he's issued threats,” Bush said. “Our goal is to continue to remind our partners that when we work together, we're more likely to be able to achieve the objective, which is to solve this problem diplomatically.”

Bush said the involved countries will adhere to the latest United Nations Security Council resolution that was passed Oct. 14, which puts financial and arms sanctions on North Korea as punishment for its Oct. 9 nuclear test.

“I would report to you the coalition remains firm,” he said. “And we will continue to work to see to it that it does remain firm.”

In a news conference following the 38th annual U.S.- Republic of Korea Security Consultative Meeting in the Pentagon Oct. 20, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to South Korea. Rumsfeld met with South Korean National Defense Minister Yoon Kwang-ung, calling the meeting “most significant” considering North Korea’s nuclear test in defiance of international will.

“The United States reaffirms its firm commitment to the Republic of Korea, including continuation of the extended deterrence offered by the U.S. nuclear umbrella consistent with the Mutual Defense Treaty,” Rumsfeld said.

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Donald H. Rumsfeld

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