US asks China to stop N. Korea's nuke ambitions

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Washington, Jan 21 (ANI): US President Barack Obama has reportedly warned Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao that Washington would be forced to deploy forces in Asia to safeguard itself from a potential North Korean attack on American soil, if Beijing fails to take steps to stop North Korea's uranium enrichment plants.

The New York Times quoted a senior Obama administration official as saying that Obama repeated his warning of last month to Hu at the White House, urging him to pressurise Pyongyang to establish both peace and stability in the Peninsula.

Obama told Hu that North Korea's disclosure of a recently disclosed uranium-enrichment plant is one of the three major threats to the United States, including Pyongyang's production of plutonium bombs and development of intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Beijing has not condemned North Korea for torpedoing a South Korean warship in March last year. However, for the first time, Hu joined Obama in publicly expressing concern over North Korean uranium-enrichment plant, but did not indicate plans to punish Pyongyang.

Obama told Hu that without China's help, which is the major supporter of the North Korean government, the United States would have to take long term measures like redeploying its forces, changing its defence posture or beefing up military exercises in North-East Asia, he added.

"It was not meant to suggest preemption, but we were projecting that a North Korea that becomes a national security threat is going to get a response. That was attention-getting for the Chinese," the paper quoted the official, as saying.

On Thursday, South Korea agreed to hold defence talks with North Korea for the first time after the deadly Pyongyang's artillery attack on a South Korean island in November 2010. (ANI)

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