POLITICS: White House

Obama: Not hopeful North Korea will change soon

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Photo - President Barack Obama, left, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe participate in a joint news conference at the Akasaka State Guest House in Tokyo, Thursday, April 24, 2014. Obama is seeking to reassure Japanese leaders Thursday that he can deliver on his security and economic pledges to Asia even as the crisis in Ukraine demands U.S. attention and resources elsewhere. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
President Barack Obama, left, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe participate in a joint news conference at the Akasaka State Guest House in Tokyo, Thursday, April 24, 2014. Obama is seeking to reassure Japanese leaders Thursday that he can deliver on his security and economic pledges to Asia even as the crisis in Ukraine demands U.S. attention and resources elsewhere. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
News,White House,World,Barack Obama,North Korea,National Security

TOKYO (AP) — President Barack Obama says he's not optimistic North Korea will shift away from its irresponsible behavior in the near future.

Obama says North Korea and its nuclear program comprise the most destabilizing situation 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 apply more pressure so that the North eventually chooses a different course. He says China's participation in pushing North Korea is critical.

Obama spoke at a news conference in Tokyo with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (shin-zoh ah-bay). His comments come amid speculation that North Korea may conduct a fourth nuclear test while Obama is in Asia this week.

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