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Obama in South Korea, Discusses Ferry Accident and North Korea

Photo by Jung Yeon-Je - Pool/Getty Images(SEOUL) -- During a bilateral meeting in Seoul on Friday, President Obama spoke with the South Korean President Park Geun-hye and expressed his sympathies for last week's ferry sinking that killed more than 100 people.

Obama was in South Korea as part of a four-day Asian trip. On Friday, Obama began by asking for a moment of silence before discussing the maritime disaster, calling himself "a father of two daughters of the same age, or close to the same age, as those who were lost, and so I can only imagine what the parents are going through at this point."

Obama also presented the South Korean president with a magnolia tree from the White House lawn, to symbolize renewal.

Obama also spoke about the mutual interests of South Korea and the United States, including a denuclearized North Korea. In fact, Obama said, the two countries are not alone in that concern, noting that "China's beginning to recognize that North Korea's not just a nuisance, this is a significant problem to their own security."

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