Obama touts Paris accord despite US withdrawal

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Seoul, July 4 (IANS) Former US President Barack Obama championed global leaders’ commitment to the Paris Agreement despite Washington’s withdrawal from the accord, the media reported.

“The Paris agreement, even with the temporary absence of US leadership, will still be a critical factor in helping our children solve the enormous challenge in civilisation,” Obama said on Monday at a Seoul conference organised by South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo media group.

President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement in June was criticised by some as shifting leadership of global efforts to limit climate change to Asia, reports CNN.

Trump said last month that he was open to renegotiating aspects of the agreement — which was inked under his Democratic predecessor and which all nations except two have signed onto.

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In his speech, Obama highlighted the role China plays in allowing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s regime to continue.

“China is the one country North Korea does depend on to some extent and the elites depend on to access foreign currency, basic supplies that are important to the regime,” the former President said.

Obama also noted that Kim governs a bit differently than his father who preceded him, but is still a threat, CNN reported.

“Pyongyang doesn’t always listen to China,” Obama said, adding “Unlike the father, the son often times has engaged in fairly significant diplomatic insults of Beijing in a way we haven’t seen before and in a way that surprised China.”

“You have a young man who is only interested in maintaining power and is willing to do anything to sustain that,” Obama added.

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