President Park:North Korea’s pursuit of two goals at once -- on nuclear arsenals and economic development -- are incompatible. DPRK must realize that. And therefore,to lay the groundwork for peaceful unification in the Korean Peninsula, I explained to President Obama my initiative for peaceful unification presented in Dresden last month. In December 2012, as President Obama mentioned himself, residents of both North and South Korea will eventually become free citizens of an integrated country.Peaceful unification in the Korean Peninsula will provide new economic opportunities to its neighboring countries and allies, and contribute to promote global peace and stability.Though the North Korea regime rejects the initiative I proposed in Dresden, my proposal will assure minimal level of value of life to be enjoyed by North Koreans and recover common sense of identity between North and South Koreans. With that principle in mind, we will pursue the initiative.
President Obama:With regard to North Korea, the United States and South Korea stand shoulder-to-shoulder both in the face of Pyongyang’s provocations and in our refusal to accept a nuclear North Korea. Threats will get North Korea nothing other than greater isolation. And we’re united on the steps Pyongyang needs to take, including abandoning their nuclear weapons and ballistic weapons programs and living up to their international obligations.Of course, we’re also deeply concerned about the suffering of the North Korean people, and the United States and South Korea are working together to advance accountability for the serious human rights violations being committed by the North.I mentioned to President Park that the United States supports the Korean people’s desire for unification, and I share President Park’s vision -- as you outlined, Madam President, in your recent speech in Dresden -- of “a unified Korea that’s free from the fear of war and nuclear weapons.” It’s a vision of a unified Korea where people throughout this peninsula enjoy the political and economic freedoms that exist here in the South.
Press Conference with President Obama and President Park of the Republic of Korea
Seoul, Republic of Korea
7:14 P.M. KST