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2012/05/13 19:59 KST
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Lee, Noda agree on need for strong response to N. Korean provocations

BEIJING, May 13 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshikiko Noda agreed Sunday that the international community should respond strongly to North Korean provocations to make Pyongyang understand it will pay a price for bad behavior.

   Lee and Noda reached the agreement during a bilateral meeting in Beijing held on the sidelines of annual three-way summit talks that also included Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.


"The two leaders fully agreed that a nuclear test or additional provocations by North Korea are unacceptable and (the North) should be made to understand bad behavior brings consequences through stern responses by the U.N. Security Council and the international community," the presidential office said in a statement.

   South Korea and Japan cooperate closely over North Korea, but their relations have often frayed over issues stemming from Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula, such as Tokyo's sexual enslavement of Korean women for its troops during World War II.

   In Sunday's meeting, Noda said that the two countries should try to find a solution to thorny issues in a wise manner, but there were no specific discussions on such matters, South Korean officials said.

   Lee also expressed gratitude to Japan for providing support for the World Expo under way in the South Korean port city of Yeosu, and said he hoped many Japanese people will visit the fair. Noda promised to cooperate closely for the expo's success, the statement said.