Undated picture from North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un attending a rocket launch at an undisclosed location. — AFP Photo
WASHINGTON — North Korea’s nuclear defiance will feature prominently during the first day of a major security summit hosted by President Barack Obama in Washington today.
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 Korea 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 those sanctions and discuss the possible deployment of US missile defence systems in the region.
The United States and South Korea have begun discussions on deployment of THAAD -- the Theatre High Altitude Area Defence System, a sophisticated missile system.
Obama will later meet Xi, his only fully-fledged 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.—AFP