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NEWS UPDATES 27 June 2009

Obama talks Korean issue with Malaysia PM

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United States President Barack Obama has sought the help of Malaysia towards ensuring a nuclear-free Korean peninsula following nuclear proliferation by North Korea, reported Malaysia’s state news agency Bernama.

According to the news agency, Obama called Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak Thursday night local time and talked about steps being taken by Washington to free the peninsula of nuclear weapons.

Malaysia premier was quoted as telling Obama that Kuala Lumpur's stand was the same and that Pyongyang should not be in possession of nuclear weapons as this would heighten tensions in the Korean peninsula as well as cause regional instability.

Malaysia, he said, had expressed concern on the latest developments in the Korean peninsula and had condemned the underground nuclear tests carried out by North Korea recently, as this posed a challenge towards the preservation of peace in the region and the world.

He said Obama also asked Malaysia to play a role in helping open dialogue and engagement on a wider scale between the United States and Iran as Kuala Lumpur and Teheran have been having good ties for a long time.

The Obama administration, according to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, views Malaysia as an important player both regionally and globally "on a number of important issues" and wants to broaden and deepen strategic cooperation with Malaysia.

The United States is Malaysia's largest trading partner and the largest foreign investor. The two countries also cooperate closely on security matters.


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