Obama Visits DMZ, Praises Troops at 'Freedom's Frontier'

President gives credit to troops for success of South Korea
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 25, 2012 5:29 AM CDT
Obama Visits DMZ, Praises Troops at 'Freedom's Frontier'
US President Barack Obama looking through binoculars today to see North Korea from Observation Post Ouellette in the Demilitarized Zone, the tense military border between the two Koreas, in Panmunjom, South Korea.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(Newser) – President Barack Obama visited the Demilitarized Zone today, staring down North Korea from behind bulletproof glass just 100 yards from the demarcation line and praising US troops serving on "freedom's frontier." His visit, which the AP calls "an unmistakable show of force," comes 100 days after the death of Kim Jong Il. "I could not be prouder of what you're doing," Obama told the US troops at Camp Bonifas at the edge of the DMZ, noting "there's something about this spot in particular." Obama dismissed Pyongyang's muscle-flexing, reports the BBC, saying the North would achieve nothing with "threats and provocations."

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Obama's visit was his first to the DMZ, and the fourth by a US president, and the closest he has come to the always secretive and troublesome North, which is now threatening to launch a satellite in contravention of ballistic missile treaties. "The contrast between South Korea and North Korea could not be clearer, could not be starker," Obama told the troops, telling them they deserve credit for much of the South's success. (Read more demilitarized zone stories.)

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