Obama Not Taking Seriously North Korean Nuclear Offer

HANNOVER, Germany (AP) – President Barack Obama says the United States isn’t taking seriously North Korea’s latest statements about being ready to halt its nuclear tests if the U.S. would suspend its annual military exercises with South Korea.

Obama says that if North Korea wants to shows it’s serious, then it would be prepared to enter negotiation to reduce tensions in the region.

North Korea’s foreign minister made the offer in an Associated Press interview on Saturday.

But Obama says such a commitment isn’t shown “based on a press release” and that the North is going to have to do better. Obama spoke during a news conference in Germany.

The United States is restricting the travel of the North Korean foreign minister to U.N. functions in New York in response to his country’s latest missile test firing.

North Korea said Sunday it successfully test-fired a ballistic missile from a submarine – a worrying development because mastering the ability to fire missiles from submerged vessels would make it harder for outsiders to detect what North Korea is doing before it launches.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un guides on the spot the underwater test-fire of strategic submarine ballistic missile in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang on April 24, 2016.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un guides on the spot the underwater test-fire of strategic submarine ballistic missile in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang on April 24, 2016.

State Department spokesman John Kirby says due to the missile firing, the U.S. has determined it necessary to limit the travel of the visiting foreign minister and his delegation to only those places necessary for them to conduct their U.N. functions.

Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong is in New York for a U.N. meeting on sustainable development.

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