U.S. President Barack Obama is in Malaysia for a three-day visit, the first trip to the Southeast Asian nation by a sitting U.S. president in nearly five decades.
Mr. Obama attended a state dinner in his honor Saturday in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia's King Abdul Halim said in a toast to Mr. Obama that his nation was thankful for the United States' "unwavering support and cooperation" in the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight that had Malaysians and Americans on board. He also praised the strong economic ties between the two nations, adding that this cooperation will help Malaysia reach a developed nation status.
Mr. Obama is expected to try to ease Prime Minister Najib Razak's concerns about his administration's Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement during the visit. Malaysia is a close trading partner of China and has opposed parts of the deal.
Mr. Obama will leave Malaysia Monday for the Philippines, the final stop of his four-nation tour to strengthen ties with Asian allies.
This is Mr. Obama's fifth visit to Asia since taking office in 2009. He has promised to make the Pacific region a greater economic, diplomatic and military priority for the United States.
Before his departure from South Korea earlier Saturday, Mr. Obama spoke to American troops stationed in Seoul, telling them that the United States "will not hesitate to use our military might to defend our allies and our way of life.'' The president's comment comes amid threats by North Korea to conduct its fourth nuclear test.
"I want to be clear. The commitment that the United States of America has made to the security of the Republic of Korea only grows stronger in the face of aggression. Our alliance does not waiver with each bout of their attention seeking. It just gains the support of the rest of the world. North Korea's continued pursuit of nuclear weapons is a path that leads only to more isolation. It's not a sign of strength. Anybody can make threats. Anyone can move an army. Anyone can show off a missile. That doesn't make you strong. It does need lead to security or opportunity or respect."
During a joint news conference with South Korean President Park Geun-hye in Seoul Friday, Mr. Obama said Pyongyang will get nothing except further isolation if it proceeds with a nuclear test.
The South Korean leader said Mr. Obama's visit sends a firm message that North Korea's provocation will not be tolerated.