Obama, in Japan, Says North Korea's Isolation Means Less Leverage - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Obama, in Japan, Says North Korea's Isolation Means Less Leverage

He acknowledged progress on a nuclear-free world will likely take a long time as long as Russia and the U.S. cannot agree to start reducing their stockpiles

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Obama, in Japan, Says North Korea's Isolation Means Less Leverage
    Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images, File
    In this May 27, 2016, file photo, former President Barack Obama speaks in Hiroshima, western Japan.

    Former President Barack Obama said Sunday that negotiations with North Korea on its nuclear weapons program are difficult, partly because the country's isolation minimizes possible leverage, such as trade and travel sanctions against Pyongyang.

    "North Korea is an example of a country that is so far out of the international norms and so disconnected with the rest of the world," Obama told a packed hall in Tokyo.

    He stressed that the effort to get North Korea to give up nuclear weapons remains difficult, but said countries working together, including China, South Korea and Japan, to pressure the North is better than nations working alone.

    He noted that past U.S. efforts on Iran's nuclear weapons were more successful because there was more leverage, but that there's little commerce and travel with North Korea to being with.

    Trump to GOP: Stop Wasting Time on Immigration

    [NATL] Trump to GOP: Stop Wasting Time on Immigration

    After repeatedly calling on Congress to solve the immigration problem, President Donald Trump now wants lawmakers to delay immigration reform until after the midterm elections in November. 

    (Published Friday, June 22, 2018)

    "That makes them less subject to these kinds of negotiations," he said of North Korea.

    Obama was speaking at an event sponsored by a Japanese nonprofit group during an Asia-Pacific trip that included earlier stops in Singapore, New Zealand and Australia. Obama's work after leaving office has been focused on nurturing young leaders.

    Obama, welcomed by a standing ovation, said that the U.S.-Japan alliance remains strong, and that the U.S. is committed to defending Japan.

    "North Korea is a real threat," he said.

    "Our view has always been that we would prefer to resolve these issues peacefully," he said, adding that otherwise "the cost in terms of human life would be significant."

    He acknowledged that progress on a nuclear-free world will likely take a long time as long as Russia and the U.S. can't agree to reduce their stockpiles.

    States to Collect Online Sales Tax

    [NATL] States to Collect Online Sales Tax
    The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that states can now require online businesses to collect sales tax, even if that business doesn't have a physical footprint there. The new ruling reverses a previous decision dating back to the days when shoppers flipped through catalogs instead of swiping through computer screens. 
     
    One government estimate says states stand to reap up to $13 billion in new revenue
    (Published Friday, June 22, 2018)

    Obama also reflected on his 2016 visit to Hiroshima, one of two Japanese cities where the U.S. dropped atomic bombs in the closing days of World War II. His visit was the first by an American president.

    Almost all American presidents tend to be relatively popular in Japan, which views the U.S. as its most important ally. But many Japanese particularly appreciate Obama's efforts on denuclearization and remember with fondness his trip to Hiroshima and his message of working toward a world without nuclear weapons.

    "It was an extraordinarily powerful moment for me," Obama recalled.