News / USA

Obama, Japanese PM Discuss North Korea, Maritime Tensions

President Barack Obama shakes hands with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the Oval Office of the White House, Feb. 22, 2013.
President Barack Obama shakes hands with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the Oval Office of the White House, Feb. 22, 2013.
Kent Klein
President Barack Obama and Japan’s new prime minister pledged to work together for a stronger world economy and a strong response to North Korea’s nuclear activities.

After their meeting in the Oval Office, President Obama said he and Prime Minister Abe agreed that they would mount a robust response to the recent North Korean nuclear test.

“We had close consultations on a wide range of security issues, in particular, our concerns about the provocative actions that have been taken in North Korea and our determination to take strong actions in response," Obama said.

The prime minister said the international community cannot tolerate actions such as North Korean nuclear tests and missile launches.  

Abe said he and the president agreed that Pyongyang’s actions must not be rewarded, and that the two countries would pursue further United Nations economic sanctions against North Korea.

He said the president also expressed his support for Japan on North Korea’s alleged abductions of Japanese citizens.

The prime minister said the two leaders agreed that the existence of the U.S.-Japan alliance is a stabilizing factor in the region, and will be helpful in settling Japan’s dispute with China over the Senkaku islands in the East China Sea.

Obama said he and the prime minister spent much of their meeting discussing ways to boost economic growth, which he called their number-one priority.

“…and steps that we can take in our respective countries to encourage the kind of trade, expanded commerce and robust growth that will lead to greater opportunity for both the United States and Japan," said Obama.

This was the president’s first meeting with Abe since the prime minister returned to office in December.  He previously served as prime minister for one year, resigning in 2007 for health reasons.

Abe is Japan’s fifth prime minister since Obama took office in 2009.

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Comment Sorting
by: Fran from: Canada
February 23, 2013 11:01 PM
It is wise of Obama not to get involved in the China/Japan dispute. He will no doubt run the risk of damaging his own creditability in the world’s political stage if USA decided to take side

by: GJ Focker from: Australia
February 22, 2013 6:26 PM
The perfect solution to the North Korean problem would be to nuke the miserable little dump into a pot of radioactive waste. The inhabitants are so brainwashed that they would all be better off dead and we could all stop making jokes about Kim Jong-Un and his fool ancestors. Thant's my two cents.

by: Paul Kim from: New Jersey
February 22, 2013 5:11 PM
Japan should forget about islands which clearly belong to China & Korea. U.S. made big mistakes for ensuring Japan's giving up occupied islands by Imperialists. Japan took that opportunity and disputes now. U.S. should see justice first. Not the curretn strategic interest. That's is more beneficial for U.S. in the long term.

by: lãokhờ from: cờhoa
February 22, 2013 5:02 PM
Communist of China were stiring and annoying all nations in the
region in the South Sea to attract China's People who will forget
their own so bad and hard situations in their homeland in order to
protect their communist party and their dictatorial gov.That's it.

by: Eric from: CH
February 22, 2013 7:19 AM
Because of the differances of values between the different countries,the US and the Japan would keep the same steps against China ! Meanwhile the regime of China is the CPC who cntroies the resources itself, it can not encourege the activities of the nations! there are a lot of issues of society to relsove,in a word, situations of China now is the most difficult times(welcome to point out the errors,I cant express my all ideas in English)

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