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President Barack Obama speaks at a news conference with South Korea President Park Geun-Hye in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, May 7, 2013.
WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama says he doesn't know Kim Jong Un (kim jawng oon) personally and has never spoken to him, but says the North Korean leader can still take a different path.

Obama says he does know that Kim's actions seem to pursue a dead end.

Obama spoke at a news conference Tuesday with South Korean President Park Geun-hye (goon-hay). He said the U.S. and South Korea agree that they should maintain a strong deterrent capability against North Korean threats. But he said there was still time for Pyongyang (pyuhng-yahng) to take a different path on its nuclear weapons program. He said the U.S. and South Korea would welcome a change.

The unpredictable young leader came to power after the death of his father, Kim Jong Il, in December 2011.