Obama Condemns North Korea Attack, Affirms 'Commitment To Defend South Korea'

President Barack Obama told ABC's Barbara Walters Tuesday that the United States is "rallying the international community" in defense of South Korea, "one of our most important allies," in the wake of the shelling by North Korea that claimed two lives.

"This is a -- just one more provocative incident in a series that we've seen over the last several months, and I'm going to be talking to the president of Korea -- South Korea this evening and we'll be consulting closely with them in terms of the appropriate response," Obama told Walters. "We strongly condemn the attack and we are rallying the international community to put pressure on North Korea."

The president called on China, in particular, to rebuke North Korea. He declined to comment on possible U.S. military action, saying only that South Korea is "one of our most important allies" and "a cornerstone of U.S. security in the Pacific region."

The pertinent clip appears below, excerpted from Walters' "Thanksgiving Visit" with the president and Michelle Obama, which is slated to air Friday at 10 p.m.