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Obama: Not hopeful North Korea will change soon

  • Associated Press
  • April 24, 2014 - 1:10 AM

TOKYO — President Barack Obama says he's not optimistic North Korea will stop behaving irresponsibly in the near future.

Obama says North Korea is the most destabilizing factor in the Asia-Pacific region. He says if North Korean leaders are serious about being a normal nation, they must change their behavior.

Obama says he's confident that by working with Japan, South Korea and others, the U.S. can increase pressure so that the North eventually chooses a different course. He says China's participation is critical.

Obama spoke at a news conference in Tokyo with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (shin-zoh ah-bay).

Obama also met Thursday with relatives of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea. The White House says Obama recommitted to working with Japan to address the North's "deplorable treatment of its own people."

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