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terça-feira, 23 de novembro de 2010

#news : US President Barack Obama pledges US to defend South Korea


US President Barack Obama has pledged the US will defend South Korea after what the White House branded an outrageous attack by North Korea on its neighbour.

"South Korea is our ally. It has been since the Korean War," Mr Obama said in his first comments about the North Korean shelling of a South Korean island.

"And we strongly affirm our commitment to defend South Korea as part of that alliance."

The President, speaking to America's ABC News, would not speculate when asked about military options.

He was expected to telephone South Korean President Lee Myung-bak today, and he met into the evening with his top national security advisers to discuss next steps.

Mr Obama joined the meeting at the White House, after returning from a trip to Indiana, and was briefed on the fallout from Pyongyang's artillery assault on a South Korean island, officials said.

"The President reiterated the unshakeable support of the United States for our ally, the Republic of Korea, and discussed ways to advance peace and security on the Korean peninsula going forward," a White House statement said.

The meeting included National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defence Robert Gates, their deputies and top Asia foreign policy officials.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper; Admiral Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and the vice chairman, General James Cartwright, also took part.

Washington's ambassador to the UN Susan Rice joined the discussion by video conference.

The line-up was similar to the roster of officials often called on by Mr Obama for meetings of his Afghan war cabinet.

- with Agence-France Presse


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