- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 25, 2014

At a meeting Tuesday with the leaders of Japan and South Korea, President Obama said his administration has succeeded with those allies in “changing the game” over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

“Over the last five years, close coordination between our three countries has succeeded in changing the game with North Korea,” Mr. Obama said at a meeting in the Netherlands.

“Our trilateral cooperation has sent a strong signal to Pyongyang that its provocations and threats will be met with a unified response, and that the U.S. commitment to the security of both Japan and the Republic of Korea is unwavering, and that a nuclear North Korea is unacceptable,” he said.

Mr. Obama held the meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean Park Geun-hye on the sidelines after a nuclear security summit. The meeting itself was something of an accomplishment, as Mrs. Park and Mr. Abe have barely spoken in the past year and their governments have been at odds on numerous issues.

“I think it’s very important for our three nations to display this kind of unity and shared determination,” Mr. Obama said. “It’s an important message to our citizens; it’s an important message to the Asia Pacific region.”

Mrs. Park cited “the increasingly uncertain developments in North Korea” as a reason for urgency in their talks.

“The North Korean nuclear issue poses a major threat to peace and stability in the region, and it is vital that the international community, including Korea, the U.S. and Japan, fashion a united response,” she said.

Mr. Abe called the meeting “highly meaningful.”