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(2nd LD) Obama calls for vigilant enforcement of sanctions on N. Korea

All Headlines 02:42 April 01, 2016

(ATTN: RECASTS lead; ADDS more quotes, Minor Edits)
By Chang Jae-soon

WASHINGTON, March 31 (Yonhap) -- U.S. President Barack Obama called Thusrday for stringent enforcement of U.N. Security Council sanctions on North Korea and stronger security cooperation with South Korea and Japan to deter the communist nation.

Obama made the remark after a trilateral summit with South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington.

North Korea was the top issue as Pyongyang has been ratcheting up tensions with threats of attacks, claims of breakthroughs in its nuclear and missile programs and a series of missile launches in defiance of international pressure.

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

Obama also said it is important for the international community to "vigilantly enforce the strong U.N. security measures" adopted in response to the North's fourth nuclear test in January and its long-range missile technology test in February.

He also called for stronger security cooperation with the two key Asian allies.

"We agreed during this meeting that trilateral security cooperation is essential to maintaining peace and stability in Northeast Asia, deterring the North Korean nuclear and the potential of nuclear proliferation as a consequence of North Korean activities," he said.

"We discussed ways to deepen that cooperation and we directed our teams to work diligently in the coming weeks and months to elaborate additional steps that we can take collectively in order to ensure that we have a denuclearized Korean Peninsula and that we can restore a sense of stability and peace to the region," he said.

Obama also said that the three countries will work closely together to promote "opportunities and prosperity for the North Korean people who have been suffering so severely because of human rights abuses in North Korea."

Obama said the three leaders also discussed ways to tackle terrorism and other challenges.

"I want to thank both President Park and Prime Minister Abe for their outstanding work with us, their significant progress in their bilateral relationship and our shared commitment to promoting a more peaceful world," he said.

jschang@yna.co.kr
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