- Associated Press - Monday, April 30, 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Monday decried aggressive acts from North Korea, including its recent failed rocket launch.

Mr. Obama said Pyongyang is operating from a position of weakness, not strength, and Mr. Noda said the launch undermined diplomacy to contain North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.

Mr. Obama said the U.S. and Japan, along with other countries in the region, are unified in insisting that North Korea abide by its international responsibilities.

“The old pattern of provocation that then gets attention and somehow insists on the world purchasing good behavior from them, that pattern is broken,” Mr. Obama said in a joint news conference with Mr. Noda at the White House.

Mr. Noda said that, given North Korea’s past practice, there appears to be a good chance that it would undertake yet another nuclear test. The Japanese prime minister said China remains an important player in trying to restrain North Korea’s nuclear program.

Mr. Noda was in Washington looking to reaffirm Japan‘s strong alliance with the U.S. and to boost his leadership credentials as his popularity flags at home.

Mr. Noda, who came to power in September and is Japan‘s sixth prime minister in six years, faces huge challenges in reviving a long-slumbering economy and helping his nation recover from the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl.

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