President Obama meets with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in the Oval Office. April 11, 2013.
The Associated Press reports:
Obama, in his first public comments since North Korea escalated its rhetoric, said it was time for the isolated nation "to end the belligerent approach they have taken and to try to lower temperatures."
"Nobody wants to see a conflict on the Korean Peninsula," Obama added, speaking from the Oval Office alongside United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
Top U.S. intelligence officials said Thursday they believe Kim is using the threats to win concessions on foreign aid rather than trying to start a war.
Obama said he preferred to see the tensions on the peninsula resolved through diplomatic means, but added that, "the United States will take all necessary steps to protect its people."