Obama, Asian leaders to huddle on North Korea nuclear threat

WASHINGTON (AP) — Working to display a united front, the United States and key Asian countries are seeking to put more pressure on North Korea as world leaders open a nuclear security summit in Washington.

President Barack Obama will meet Thursday morning with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (shin-zoh ah-bay) and South Korean President Park Geun-hye (goon-hay), two U.S. allies deeply concerned about North Korea. He’ll also try to smooth over tensions with China over cybersecurity and maritime disputes when he holds a separate meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng).

Though nuclear terrorism and the Islamic State group top the agenda, concerns about North Korea’s nuclear weapons program are also commanding focus. Those long-simmering concerns have escalated of late following the North’s recent nuclear test and rocket launch.