After South Korea, Malaysia…another stop on Barack Obama’s high stakes Asian tour.
He hopes it will reassure regional allies about Washington’s commitment to rebalancing some of its resources to the fast-growing countries of East Asia.
He addressed some of the 28,000 US troops stationed in South Korea, amid concerns the North, branded a ‘pariah state’ by the US president, could conduct its fourth nuclear test.
“North Korea’s continued pursuit of nuclear weapons is a path that leads only to more isolation,” Obama said.
“It’s not a sign of strength. Anybody can make threats. Anyone can move an army. Anyone can show off a missile. That doesn’t make you strong. It does not lead to security or opportunity or respect.”
Adding to tensions surrounding Obama’s visit to South Korea, the North announced on Friday that it had detained a 24-year-old American this month who demanded asylum after arriving in the country on a tourist visa.
Obama is the first US President in almost half a century to visit Malaysia.
Not everyone is happy about it – notably dozens of Kuala Lumpur residents who staged a protest after Friday prayers, denouncing the US as a country waging war on Islam.