Obama, Japan’s leader confer on NKorean situation

WASHINGTON (AP) ? President Obama is seeking to underscore the U.S. commitment to close allies in Asia, including Japan.

Obama conferred by telephone Monday night with the prime minister of Japan, Yoshihiko Noda. The White House says in a statement that Obama and Noda discussed the situation on the Korean Peninsula following the death of Kim Jong Il.

The White House says Obama conveyed the importance he places on maintaining the stability of the Korean Peninsula and the region. Both leaders agreed that the United States and Japan would monitor events carefully and stay in close touch.