Obama considers South Korea as an important ally and is strongly against North Korea acts of aggression towards them. He is also opposed to North Korea’s nuclear program, but prefers a consultative approach with our allies to address the issue.
“South Korea is our ally. It has been since the Korean War and we strongly affirm our commitment to defend South Korea as part of that alliance… Well, I’m not going to speculate on military actions at this point. I want to consult with President Lee.”
November 23, 2010: President Obama responding to North Korea’s artillery attack on South Korea’s Yeonpyeong Island.
“North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile program posed a grave threat to the peace and security of the world and I strongly condemn their reckless action. North Korea’s action endangers the people of North East Asia. They are a blatant violation of international law, and they contradict North Korea’s own prior commitments.
Now the United States and the international community must take action in response. The record’s clear – North Korea has previously committed to abandoning its nuclear program. Instead of following through on that commitment, it has chosen to ignore that commitment. Its actions have also flown in the face of United Nations resolutions. As a result, North Korea is not only deepening its isolation, it’s also inviting stronger international pressure. That’s evident overnight, as Russia and China, as well as our traditional allies of South Korea and Japan have all come to the same conclusion – North Korea will not find security and respect through threats and illegal weapons.
We will work with our friends and allies to stand up to this behavior and we will redouble our efforts towards a more robust international non-proliferation regime that all countries have responsibilities to meet. In this effort, the United States will never waver from our determination to protect our people and the peace and security of the world. “
May 25, 2009: President Obama responding to North Korea’s nuclear weapons test