In address, Obama stays silent on PyongyangU.S. President Barack Obama did not make any mention of North Korea in his final State of the Union address on Tuesday, despite expectations that he may have a strong message following Pyongyang’s fourth nuclear test last week.
Obama did not acknowledge North Korea in his last two State of the Union addresses, though he was anticipated to have a message this time following Pyongyang’s most recent nuclear test on Jan. 6, which its regime claimed was a hydrogen bomb.
However, according to some analysts, making no mention of the event was in itself a stronger message.
“No nation dares to attack us or our allies because they know that’s the path to ruin,” he declared, touting Washington’s military might and the skill of its troops.
The president also emphasized that “America will always act, alone if necessary, to protect our people and our allies; but on issues of global concern, we will mobilize the world to work with us.”
But the United States, he added, “can’t try to take over and rebuild every country that falls into crisis.”
Rather, there is a “smarter approach, a patient and disciplined strategy that uses every element of our national power.”
As an example, Obama described how the United States worked at preventing a nuclear-armed Iran with a global coalition and “with sanctions and principled diplomacy.”
In 2013, North Korea conducted its third nuclear test on Feb. 12, the same day Obama was to deliver his State of the Union address just hours later in Washington.
In it, he warned North Korea to meet international obligations.
“Provocations of the sort we saw last night will only further isolate them, as we stand by our allies, strengthen our own missile defense and lead the world in taking firm action in response to these threats,” he said.
Earlier on Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted nearly unanimously in favor of legislation that will enforce broader sanctions on North Korea following its fourth nuclear test.
The North Korea Sanctions Enforcement Act, which uses targeted financial and economic pressure to block regime leader Kim Jong-un and his top officials from hard currency and the assets they maintain in foreign banks, passed with bipartisan support, 418 to 2.
It must be now pass the U.S. Senate and requires President Barack Obama signature to become law.
BY SARAH KIM [email@example.com]