Warning North Korea from its doorstep, President Barack Obama said Pyongyang risks deepening its isolation in the international community if it proceeds with a planned long-range rocket launch.
“North Korea will achieve nothing by threats or provocations,” Obama said during a news conference Sunday in Seoul, South Korea, where he is attending a nuclear security summit.
Obama spoke following a private meeting with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak. Both leaders warned there would be consequences if North Korea proceeds with next month's launch, with Obama saying the move would jeopardize a deal for the US to resume stalled food at to the North.
“Bad behavior will not be rewarded,” Obama said.
North Korea plans to launch a satellite using a long-range rocket next month, which the US and other powers say would violate a U.N. ban on nuclear and missile activity because the same technology could be used for long-range missiles.
The US considers the rocket launch practice for a ballistic missile test and a violation of North Korea's international responsibilities. The planned launch is yet another setback for the United States in years of on-again, off-again attempts to launch real negotiations. The announcement also played into Republican criticism that Obama had been too quick to jump at a new chance for talks with the North Koreans.