Obama, Sarkozy in Strasbourg, France

PRESIDENT SARKOZY: Very simply, I have always said to President Medvedev that the days of the USSR are over, that the Berlin Wall had come down, and that around Russia there were no satellite states any longer and that he needed to respect that.

But by the same token, with the problems the world faces today we’re not going to reinvent the Cold War. So it’s excellent news this proposal that President Obama has made to reengage with President Medvedev, to come up with new agreements between Russia and the United States. We don’t need — the last thing we need is a new Cold War. We need the world getting together, we need the world to unite. And we need Russia to shoulder its responsibilities, because it is a great country, a great power, to help us find a solution to the Iranian crisis.

So there again I think I can say that France and the United States are on the same — working on the same page. We are not against Russia. I mean, the Warsaw Pact is way behind us. We want to work with anyone who’s prepared to work with us, very honestly, very openly, to have a security zone or area — and I hope very shortly –- between Europe and Russia a common economic space.


Q Thank you, Mr. President. As you just said, you’ve tried to take a step forward this week with Russia in trying to take nuclear warheads out there and make it safer around the world. North Korea seems to be going in the other direction. Do you have a message, or maybe even a warning to North Korea about what consequences they’ll face if they go ahead with this missile test?

And President Sarkozy, you spoke about honesty and consistency, and you’re about to reenter NATO as a military partner. I wonder what you say to the President’s message about bringing troops forward, maybe military training, helping in Afghanistan.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: We have made very clear to the North Koreans that their missile launch is provocative, it puts enormous strains on the six-party talks, and that they should stop the launch. The response so far from the North Koreans has been not just unhelpful, but has resorted to the sort of language that has led to North Korea’s isolation in the international community for a very long time.

It is not just us that has said that North Korea should not launch. Japan, Korea, Russia, China, the other members of the six-party talks have all indicated that this launch should not go forward.

And so should North Korea decide to take this action, we will work with all interested parties in the international community to take appropriate steps to let North Korea know that it can’t threaten the safety and security of other countries with impunity.

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