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S. Korea's Park, Obama talk on telephone

Published By United Press International
SEOUL, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- South Korean President-elect Park Geun-hye and U.S. President Barack Obama spoke on the telephone Friday to discuss the North Korean threat, her party said.

Park, who became South Korea's first woman president after elections Wednesday, and Obama, who had called to congratulate her, discussed cooperative steps to deal with the Northeast Asian security crisis brought on by North Korea's Dec. 12 long-range rocket launch to put a satellite in space, the South Korean leader's ruling Saenuri Party said in a news release, the Yonhap News Agency reported.

The North Korean launch, which the United Nations said was in violation of Security Council resolutions, has been widely condemned as further raising tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Yonhap said the news release did not give details of the telephone conversation but that the two leaders agreed on the need for their countries to work together to handle North Korea's provocations.

Critics of the North Korean action say they view the launch as a secret attempt to test its missile technology while the North maintains it has the right to carry out peaceful space development.

The news release said Park also congratulated Obama on his re-election and expressed deep condolences over the recent shooting carnage at a school in Newtown, Conn.

In an earlier meeting with U.S. Ambassador Sung Kim, Park, who had stressed the importance of South Korea's alliance with the United States in her campaign, said she would like to meet with the U.S. president to discuss in detail the future course of bilateral relations, the report said.
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Race winner Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain (C) stands between second place finisher Christopher Froome of Great Britain (L) and third place finisher Vincenzo Nibali of Italy on the presentation podium following the final stage of the Tour de France in Paris on July 22, 2012. Wiggins of Great Britain became that country's first ever overall winner of the Tour de France. UPI/David Silpa