US ready to 'engage' N Korea, but it must abandon nukes: Obama

US President Barack Obama said Friday that Washington was prepared to "engage" with North Korea.

AFP| Updated: Oct 17, 2015, 03:30 AM IST
US ready to 'engage' N Korea, but it must abandon nukes: Obama

Washington: US President Barack Obama said Friday that Washington was prepared to "engage" with North Korea, but warned that Pyongyang must first give up its nuclear weapons.

  Standing alongside South Korean President Park Geun-Hye at the White House, Obama told a press conference that the US alliance with close ally Seoul was "a lynchpin of peace and security" for the Korean peninsula and the region.

 "Kim Jong-Un's missile program achieved nothing except to deepen North Korea's isolation," said Obama, referring to the North Korean leader.

 "Today, President Park and I are reaffirming our nations will never accept North Korea as a nuclear weapons state."

 Obama said that while he was ready to "engage nations with which we have had troubled histories," he added that "Kim needs to understand it (North Korea) will not achieve the economic development it seeks so long as it looks at nuclear weapons."