Obama addresses escalating tensions in Syria and NKorea - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

President Obama addresses escalating tensions in Syria and North Korea


With one crisis cooling and another heating up, President Obama laid out tough positions Tuesday on both North Korea and Syria, warning that Syrian dictator Bashir Assad will end up like Osama Bin Laden and that North Korea's Kim Jong Un will get no more concessions.

The Korean crisis has cooled somewhat, but belligerent young dictator Kim Jong Un is again warning he could attack the south if any shells from U.S. and South Korea military drills hit his territory.

South Korean President Park Geun-Hye vows she would retaliate.

"We will by no means tolerate North Korean threats and provocations," she warned during her visit to the White House.

Mr. Obama agreed: No more nuclear blackmail.

"The days when North Korea could create a crisis and elicit concessions, those days are over," he said.

In the Syrian crisis, intensified by Israeli airstrikes and by White House insistence

that it was the government of Bashir al Assad and not Syrian rebels that probably used chemical weapons, Mr. Obama admitted moving slowly.

"I think there'd be severe costs in doing nothing, that's why we're not doing nothing," Mr. Obama said.

He sent Secretary of State Kerry to Moscow to get Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop protecting Assad.

President Obama declared Assad must go, and said his record proves he means it.

"I in the end, whether it's Bin Laden or Khaddafy, if we say we're taking a position I would think the international community would have a sense that we typically follow thru on our commitments," Mr. Obama warned.

Most observers agree action in Syria still depends in part on Russia and in part on a credible finding that Assad did in fact use chemical weapons.

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