US President George W. Bush, speaking at a joint press conference with visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Camp David, Maryland on Friday, reaffirmed that diplomacy remained the preferable choice to solve the North Korea nuclear issue.
Bush also made clear his belief in the six-party talks, which gather the United States, North Korea, China, South Korea, Japan and Russia, in an effort to broker a deal over the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
However, Bush called upon North Korea to honor its February 13th commitments which would see the state shut down its nuclear reactor.
"Our partners in the six-party talks are patient, but our patience is not unlimited," Bush warned, striking a fiery tone.
The lingering financial disputes between the United States and North Korea has seen the original deadline for shutting down the reactor missed, a state of affairs lamented as "regrettable" by Abe.
Turning to the issue of "comfort women," Abe expressed his apologies to "the people who had to serve as comfort women" while addressing the US Congress and explained his perspective to Bush, a statement that seemed to satisfy the US President.
"The comfort women issue was a regrettable chapter in the history of the world and I accept the prime minister's apology," Bush said.
US officials have repeatedly called upon Abe to apologize and have upbraided him for denying any coercion of women into sex slavery by Japanese troops during World War II.
An estimated 200,000 women were forced to serve as sex slaves in Japanese military brothels during World War II, most of the hailing from invaded territories at the time.
(Xinhua News Agency April 28, 2007)