US President Barack Obama has vowed his ‘firm commitment’ to protect Japan against a potential nuclear attack in light of the fact that his nation is the only one that has ever used atomic bombs, which leveled two Japanese cities in 1945 and killed nearly 180,000 people.
In a telephone conversation with new Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday, Obama pledged the US military’s “steadfast” resolve to offer Japan protection against threats, including a nuclear one, according to a White House statement.
Obama further "reaffirmed that the United States remains steadfast in its defense commitments to Japan, including the extended deterrence offered by the US nuclear umbrella," says the official statement, also released on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the Japanese prime minister is due to pay a visit to Washington later this month for major talks with the US president and other top officials and lawmakers.
During the telephone call, Obama and Abe also discussed ways to respond to what the White House statement referred to as “highly provocative violation of North Korea’s international obligations,” according to press reports.
The development comes following a reported underground nuclear test conducted by North Korea on Tuesday, triggering the usual strong reaction by the US and its major allies in the region, namely South Korea and Japan.
American and South Korean monitors claimed that the underground nuclear test was much more powerful than previous tests by North Korea in 2006 and 2009.
This is while the US, along with Russia, possesses the largest arsenal of nuclear weapons in the world and persistently seeks to upgrade existing supplies and develop newer ones.
Obama and Abe further agreed to collaborate at the United Nations to impose stronger UN sanctions against North Korea./Presstv.Ir/