US will defend South Korea: Obama

President Barack Obama has pledged the United States would defend South Korea after what the White House branded an outrageous attack by North Korea on its neighbour.

Yet with its options limited, the US sought a diplomatic rather a military response to one of those most ominous clashes between the Koreas in decades.

“South Korea is our ally. It has been since the Korean War,” Obama said in his first comments about the North Korean shelling of a South Korean island. “And we strongly affirm our commitment to defend South Korea as part of that alliance.”

The president, speaking to ABC News, would not speculate when asked about military options. He was expected to telephone South Korean President Lee Myung-bak today, and he was meeting with his top national security advisers to discuss next steps.

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