Obama: North Korea must avoid more provocative acts

Sun Apr 5, 2009 12:44am EDT

(adds quotes, details from Obama statement)

WASHINGTON, April 5 (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama called on Sunday for North Korea to refrain from further "provocative actions" and said its launch of a Taepodong-2 missile violated United Nations rules.

"With this provocative act, North Korea has ignored its international obligations, rejected unequivocal calls for restraint, and further isolated itself from the community of nations," Obama said in a statement released from Prague, where he is traveling.

Obama said the launch violated a U.N. Security Council resolution that prohibits North Korea from conducting ballistic missile-related activities of any kind.

"I urge North Korea to abide fully by the resolutions of the U.N. Security Council and to refrain from further provocative actions," he said.

Obama, who is on an eight-day visit to Europe, will call for the elimination of all nuclear weapons across the globe in a speech later on Sunday that he hopes will lend credibility to his message in atomic disputes with Iran and North Korea.

He said in the statement the United States was "fully committed" to maintaining security in northeast Asia and would continue work through the so-called six-party talks to ensure verified denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Those talks group North and South Korea, China, Japan, Russia and the United States.

"North Korea has a pathway to acceptance in the international community, but it will not find that acceptance unless it abandons its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and abides by its international obligations and commitments," Obama said.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason, editing by Philip Barbara)




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