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US joins with South Korea, Japan in bid to deter North Korea

March 31, 2016
APTOPIX Obama Nuclear Security Summit

South Korean President Park Geun-hye, left, shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as President Barack Obama watches after their meeting at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, on Thursday, March 31, 2016. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States pledged Thursday to deepen cooperation with allies South Korea and Japan on deterring the North Korean nuclear threat, working to ramp up pressure following worrying provocations. Leaders of the three countries urged the world community to vigilantly enforce new U.N. sanctions.

President Barack Obama didn’t disclose what further steps the countries might take as he met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Park Geun-hye on the sidelines of a nuclear security summit. But he said the countries had directed their teams to work together to help bring about a denuclearized Korean Peninsula.

“We are united in our efforts to deter and defend against North Korean provocations,” Obama said. “We recognize that our security is linked.”

Though nuclear terrorism and the Islamic State group top this year’s agenda, concerns about North Korea’s nuclear weapons program are also commanding focus as the two-day summit gets under way. Those long-simmering concerns have escalated of late following the North’s recent nuclear test and rocket launch.

China’s influence over North Korea will be front and center later in the day when Obama sits down with President Xi Jinping. The White House said that meeting was also an opportunity for Obama to press U.S. concerns about human rights and China’s assertive territorial claims in waters far off its coast.

Though frictions with China remain high, the U.S. was encouraged by China’s role in passing stringent new U.N. sanctions on North Korea, its traditional ally. Now the U.S. is pressing Beijing to implement those sanctions dutifully.

The U.S. and South Korea have been discussing whether to deploy a U.S. missile defense system called THAAD, or the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense, in South Korea to counter the threat from the North. China has resisted that step out of concern it would also give the U.S. radar coverage over Chinese territory, and Russia opposes it as well.

In North Korea, meanwhile, the government has been churning out regular propaganda pieces condemning the U.S. and South Korea, while warning it could launch a pre-emptive strike against South Korea or even the U.S. mainland at any time.

For Obama, the summit’s offers a last major chance to focus global attention on disparate nuclear security threats before the president’s term ends early next year.

For years, pressing security crises in the Middle East have overshadowed Obama’s goal of expanding U.S. influence and engagement in Asia, with the North Korean threat another unwanted distraction. Though the U.S. and China have struck sweeping agreements on climate change, they’ve remained at odds on many economic issues. Obama has also been unable to get Congress to ratify the Asia-Pacific free trade deal his administration painstakingly negotiated.

Obama also planned to meet Thursday with French President Francois Hollande, amid steep concerns about terrorism in Europe following Islamic State-linked attacks in Paris and Brussels. The summit continues on Friday with a special session focused on preventing IS and other extremists from obtaining nuclear materials and attacking urban areas.

Some of the 2,000 metric tons of highly enriched uranium and separated plutonium being used in civilian or military programs worldwide could be turned into a nuclear bomb if stolen or diverted, the White House warned. Fewer than half of the countries participating in the summit have even agreed to secure sources of radiological material that could be used for a dirty bomb, though more countries are expected to announce commitments during the summit to tighten controls.

Park, whose country has been repeatedly threatened by Pyongyang, warned that North Korea would face even stiffer sanctions and more isolation if it engaged in any further provocative acts. Speaking through a translator, she said the mere fact the three leaders were huddling to discuss North Korea carried “huge significance.”

Though nuclear terrorism and the Islamic State group top this year’s agenda, concerns about North Korea’s nuclear weapons program are also commanding focus as the two-day summit gets under way. Those long-simmering concerns have escalated of late following the North’s recent nuclear test and rocket launch.

China’s influence over North Korea will be front and center later in the day when Obama sits down with President Xi Jinping. The White House said that meeting was also an opportunity for Obama to press U.S. concerns about human rights and China’s assertive territorial claims in waters far off its coast.

Though frictions with China remain high, the U.S. was encouraged by China’s role in passing stringent new U.N. sanctions on North Korea, its traditional ally. Now the U.S. is pressing Beijing to implement those sanctions dutifully.

The U.S. and South Korea have been discussing whether to deploy a U.S. missile defense system called THAAD, or the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense, in South Korea to counter the threat from the North. China has resisted that step out of concern it would also give the U.S. radar coverage over Chinese territory, and Russia opposes it as well.

In North Korea, meanwhile, the government has been churning out regular propaganda pieces condemning the U.S. and South Korea, while warning it could launch a pre-emptive strike against South Korea or even the U.S. mainland at any time.

For Obama, the summit’s offers a last major chance to focus global attention on disparate nuclear security threats before the president’s term ends early next year.

For years, pressing security crises in the Middle East have overshadowed Obama’s goal of expanding U.S. influence and engagement in Asia, with the North Korean threat another unwanted distraction. Though the U.S. and China have struck sweeping agreements on climate change, they’ve remained at odds on many economic issues. Obama has also been unable to get Congress to ratify the Asia-Pacific free trade deal his administration painstakingly negotiated.

Obama also planned to meet Thursday with French President Francois Hollande, amid steep concerns about terrorism in Europe following Islamic State-linked attacks in Paris and Brussels. The summit continues on Friday with a special session focused on preventing IS and other extremists from obtaining nuclear materials and attacking urban areas.

Some of the 2,000 metric tons of highly enriched uranium and separated plutonium being used in civilian or military programs worldwide could be turned into a nuclear bomb if stolen or diverted, the White House warned. Fewer than half of the countries participating in the summit have even agreed to secure sources of radiological material that could be used for a dirty bomb, though more countries are expected to announce commitments during the summit to tighten controls.

4 Comments

  1. horangihgomtoki

    April 2, 2016 at 12:23 AM

    To deter North Korea? Is this some kind of sick joke?

    We all know North Korea is ruled by a vile regime. The Kim dynasty is a real shit. BUT, the ONLY reason why North Korea got nukes is because it fears America that has been acting like a crazy imperialist rogue nation all over the world. US lied about WMD and invaded and totally destroyed Iraq. Gaddaffi gave up his WMD and sought peace with the West. But the West, led by US, destroyed Libya, and Gaddaffi was lynched to death. Then, the US sent Libyan arms to terrorists in Syria and totally destroyed that country. US also instigated a coup in Ukraine and turned that country into a hellhole.

    Yes, North Korean regime is awful, but every regime tries to survive. And recent history has shown that Zionist-controlled US has become the most aggressive, violent, and imperialist nation on Earth. North Korea realizes that US tells lies to invade and wreck nations, like it did with Iraq. North Korea understands that giving up WMD will not lead to peace. Gaddaffi gave up his and ended up dead, and Libya is now a failed state.

    Also, if US is such a moral nation, why did it support Zionist ethnic cleansing of Palestine? Why does US still support Zionists who occupy Palestinian land? Why does US allow Israel to have 300 nukes? North Korea is ruled by vile regime, but North Koreans only control their own nation. They never invaded a foreign nation. They don’t rule over a foreign people. It is US that invaded other nations. It is Zionists who rule over Palestinians. And US has supported Alqaeda terrorists against Assad in Syria.
    US is ruled by Jewish Zionist imperialists, and the main reason why Jews hate North Korea has NOTHING to do with human rights. Saudi Arabia has awful human rights abuses, but US never criticizes it because it is an ally. Jews hate North Korea because it has done business with ‘enemies of Israel’ like Iran. That is the reason. Jews don’t care about Koreans, no more than they care about Palestinians. Jews only care about themselves, and they hate North Korea because it doesn’t take orders from the US and trades with enemies of Israel, a nation founded on ethnic cleansing of innocent Palestinians.

    Also, US is only using South Korea as a pawn against China. US wants to keep South Korea as a puppet forever. US invokes North Korean threat as excuse, but US is really using South Korea military base in a possible future war against China. Japan lost the war in WWII and has since been a whore to the US. South Korea is a whore to the US also. So, the two whore nations, Japan and South Korea, just go along with the US that is pitting Asians vs Asians.

    US wants Japan and South Korea as puppet whores against rising China. And US wants to keep Korea divided forever since a united Korea would no longer justify US military presence in South Korea.
    US military is in South as a pretext of defending the South from the North. So, a united Korea means US must go. And then, Korea will grow closer to China. US wants to prevent this at all cost.

    It was US, not Japan or China, that divided Korea after WWII. A great crime against Koreans. It was US’s plan to bring in the USSR and cut up Korea like a cake. And during the Korean War, US dropped more bombs on Korea than all the bombs dropped in pacific theater of WWII. It was a holocaust that killed millions of Koreans. But South Koreans act like US is their savior and master. A nation of dogs. South Korea provides prostitutes for US servicemen. South Korea provides millions of Korean wombs for American men to impregnate. It is like Korean women are sexual properties of American men. Korean wombs exist to produce babies for American men.
    South Korea is a whore nation that puts out to the US. South Korea is like Saigon during the Vietnam War. Just a prostitute of US that says “me so horny, me so horny.”

    South Korea is such a puppet that it even obeys US demand that it accept the homosexual agenda. South Korean media are now controlled by homosexuals that encourage Korean boys to use makeup and act like sissy girls. Koreans believe that US is better in everything. So, the ONLY purpose of Korean culture and values is to follow the American Way since Americans Know Best, indeed even for what is best for Koreans.

    South Korea is an embarrassment. It has more than twice the population of North Korea. It has an economy 40 times bigger. But it still needs Uncle Sam for protection. A nation of cowards. Israel is tiny and surrounded by much bigger nations but protects itself. But South Korea still needs Uncle Sam to protect it from poor starving Koreans in the North.

    North Korea acts the bad boy but does so out of fear of the US that has acted as the globalist imperialist since the end of Cold War. US started all those horrible wars in the Middle East. It destroyed Libya. It aided terrorists in Syria. US continues to support and arm Israel that still occupies and terrorizes Palestinians(who have it worse than Koreans under Japanese colonization).

    South Koreans and Korean-Americans need to tell US to stop increasing tensions in the Korea and stop scaring North Korea. North Korean regime is awful but it has good reasons to be afraid since US is a rogue imperialist nation. US is also a vile decadent nation whose culture is gangster rap, mainstreaming of pornography, homosexual decadence, Wall Street fraud, and military-industrial complex gone out of control.

    US sees South Korea as a mere pawn in the globalist game against China. When will Koreans stop acting like dogs and whores to the US?

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