Monday, May 25, 2009
Obama says North Korea nuclear test a "grave concern"
Mon May 25, 2009 8:42am EDT | Reuters
By David Alexander
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Monday that nuclear and missile tests conducted by North Korea were a "grave concern to all nations" and a legal violation that warranted action by the international community.
"North Korea's attempts to develop nuclear weapons, as well as its ballistic missile program, constitute a threat to international peace and security," Obama said in a statement after Pyongyang conducted a nuclear test and reportedly fired a short-range missile.
The nuclear test was a major diplomatic challenge to Obama at a time when he is facing a global economic crisis and working to curb Iran's nuclear enrichment program, which the West fears is aimed at producing nuclear arms but Tehran says is for energy.
Obama vowed when he took office to extend a hand to troublesome countries "willing to unclench your fist" but so far he has had little success with North Korea or Iran, which have continued to advance their nuclear programs and showed little interest in renewed dialogue.