U.S., Japan unite over Pyongyang nuke threat

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U.S., Japan unite over Pyongyang nuke threat

WASHINGTON - The United States and Japan on Monday warned North Korea against a new nuclear test, with President Barack Obama vowing not to tolerate the communist state’s “old pattern of provocation.”

Obama welcomed Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda for the first visit by a Japanese leader to the White House in three years, as the two leaders sought to show a personal chemistry to symbolize that the alliance was back on track.

Noda and Obama found common cause in pressing North Korea, which has threatened to retaliate and to reduce parts of South Korea to ashes due to the uproar over Pyongyang’s defiant but failed rocket launch on April 13.

“What I’ve tried to do since I came into office [is] to make sure that North Koreans understand the old pattern of provocation that then gets attention and somehow insists on the world purchasing good behavior from them, that that pattern is broken,” Obama said.

“The more you engage in provocative acts, the more isolated you will become, the stronger sanctions will be in place,” Obama said.

The Obama administration, after long hesitation, agreed on Feb. 29 to deliver food aid to North Korea. It has suspended the pact after the rocket launch, which Washington believes was a disguised missile test.

While Obama declined to speculate on further actions by North Korea, Noda noted that the regime carried out its last nuclear test in 2009 amid an uproar over another such rocket launch.

“That means that there is a great possibility that they will conduct a nuclear test,” Noda said. AFP

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