Washington nuclear summit kicks off with North Korea in focus

Washington nuclear summit kicks off with North Korea in focus


WASHINGTON – North Korea’s nuclear defiance will feature prominently during talks on the first day of a major security summit hosted by President Barack Obama in Washington on Thursday.


Obama will kick off the nuclear security summit by meeting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Park Geun-Hye, followed by a separate sit-down with President Xi Jinping of China.


North Korea’s threats following the January detonation of a nuclear device and a long-range rocket launch a month later are expected to feature prominently in both meetings.


The White House wants to keep up pressure on the North Korean regime, increasing the economic and diplomatic cost of ignoring international appeals to mothball its nukes. Obama, Abe and Park are likely to call for the rigorous implementation of recently agreed sanctions against North Korea and discuss the possible deployment of US missile defense systems in the region.


The United States and South Korea have begun discussions on deployment of THAAD — the Theater High Altitude Area Defense System, a sophisticated missile system.


“I think the three leaders will clearly demonstrate their unity in our commitment and our firm resolves to deter and defend against North Korean aggression,” said Dan Kritenbrink, a top Obama advisor on Asia.

Obama will later meet, Xi, his only full bilateral meeting with the dozens of world leaders coming to Washington. Obama will also hold what the White House is calling a “brief” meeting with France’s President Francois Hollande. China is seen as key to making sanctions against North Korea bite.


“We’ve seen China step up in many ways in terms of applying pressure,” said Obama foreign policy aide Ben Rhodes, praising the passage of UN sanctions.

News Courtesy: Daily Times Pakistan


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