Obama Cites Iran Deal As Proof He Is Willing To Work With North Korea

Barack Obama and South Korean President Park Geun-hye attend a press conference in the East Room of the White House on October 16, 2015 in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI
Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

President Obama seems open to engaging in diplomacy with North Korea, pointing out that it would be possible to negotiate with the dictatorship, just as he was willing to negotiate with Cuba and Iran.

“As my administration has shown with Iran and Cuba, we are also prepared to engage nations with which we have had troubled histories,” Obama said during a joint press conference with South Korean president Park Geun-hye at the White House today.

The reason he was able to negotiate with Iran, Obama explained, was because they were willing to give up their pursuit of nuclear weapons. Any discussions with North Korea, Obama said, would be dependent on its willingness to give up nuclear weapons.

“It’s fair to say we’ll be right there at the table,” he said, if North Korea was serious about “denuclearization.”

Obama added that currently there was no suggestion that North Korea was interested in a deal.

“We haven’t even gotten to that point yet because there’s been no indication on the part of the North Koreans, as there was with Iranians, that they could foresee a future where they did not possess or they were not pursing nuclear weapons.”