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Obama to express strong security support for S. Korea if he meets with Park: White House

All Headlines 03:49 August 31, 2016

WASHINGTON, Aug. 30 (Yonhap) -- U.S. President Barack Obama will express his strong support for South Korea's security if he has a chance to meet with South Korean President Park Geun-hye on the sidelines of the upcoming summit of Group of 20 nations, the White House said Tuesday.

Both Park and Obama are scheduled to attend the G20 summit in the southeastern Chinese city of Hangzhou on Sept. 4-5. The summit comes as tensions on the Korean Peninsula are running high in the wake of North Korea's successful submarine missile test.

"I'm not aware of any formal, bilateral meeting that the president will have with President Park. But I can tell you that it's not uncommon for the president to have an opportunity to visit with some of his counterparts along the margins of some of these meetings," White House press secretary Josh Earnest said at a regular briefing.

"I don't know whether or not something like that is planned at this point but if something like that does occur, we'll certainly let you know and if there's an opportunity, I'm confident that the president will use it to express the United States' strong support for the safety and security of our allies at the Republic of Korea," he said.

After their visits to China, both Obama and Park are also scheduled to head to Laos for a series of annual regional summits led by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). These multilateral summits have provided opportunities for participating leaders to meet bilaterally on the sidelines.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula spiked after the North successfully conducted an SLBM test last week, sending the missile, designated KN-11, some 500 kilometers over the East Sea, the greatest distance the communist nation has achieved since it began SLBM tests last year.

Moreover, the missile was launched at a high angle, meaning the missile could have flown farther, possibly more than 1,000 km, if it had been fired at a regular angle.

jschang@yna.co.kr
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