Obama calls S Korea’s Prez, commits US support

US President Barack Obama spoke to his South Korean counterpart Lee Myung-bak, renewing Washington`s "unshakeable support" for the country in the wake of a North Korean missile attack that killed two marines.

Last Updated: Nov 24, 2010, 12:42 PM IST

Washington: US President Barack Obama
spoke to his South Korean counterpart Lee Myung-bak, renewing
Washington`s "unshakeable support" for the country in the wake
of a North Korean missile attack that killed two marines.

Obama told President Lee that the thoughts and prayers
of the American people were with the loved ones of those who
were killed or wounded in the attack.

The President said North Korea must stop its
provocative actions, which will only lead to its further
isolation, and fully abide by the terms of Armistice Agreement
and its obligations under international law, according to the
White House.

Two South Korean marines were killed and five were
seriously injured when North Korea allegedly shelled a border
island in what Seoul said was a "pre-planned" attack
yesterday.

Obama also had a situation room meeting with his top
national security advisers about the situation on the Korean
peninsula.

The President was briefed by National Security Advisor
Tom Donilon, Secretaries Hillary Clinton and Robert Gates,
United States Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice,
Admiral Mike Mullen, and General Walter Sharp, the Commander
of US Forces Korea.

"The President reiterated the unshakeable support of
the United States for our ally, the Republic of Korea, and
discussed ways to advance peace and security on the Korean
peninsula going forward," the White House said.

"The two Presidents agreed to hold combined military
exercises and enhanced training in the days ahead to continue
the close security cooperation between our two countries, and
to underscore the strength of our Alliance and commitment to
peace and security in the region," it said.

The White House said the United States remains firmly
and fully committed to the defence of its ally.

"The United States will work with the international
community to strongly condemn this outrageous action by North
Korea, and to advance peace and security in the region," it
said.

Briefing reporters earlier in the day, Deputy White
House Press Secretary Bill Burton described Obama has being
"outraged" by North Korean actions.

He said the United States "stands shoulder to
shoulder" with South Korea and that it is fully committed to
South Korea`s defence. "It`s an outrageous act. The President thinks that
North Korea is not living up to their obligations and they
ought to live up to the obligations that are signed in the
armistice agreement and international law," Burton said.

He said North Korea needs to live up to its
international obligations and make real progress in ending its
"illegal" nuclear programme.

"North Korea has a pattern of doing things that are
provocative. This is a particularly outrageous act, and we`re
going to be doing everything that we need to do in order to
make sure that we`re defending our ally in South Korea and
that there`s security and stability in the region," he said.

PTI