Nov 19, 2009 9:06 AM by Associated Press

President Obama heads home from Asia trip

President Barack Obama is on his way back to Washington after an Asian tour that included efforts to prod China on human rights and North Korea to return to nuclear talks.

Obama today said the United States has begun talking with allies about fresh punishment against Iran for defying efforts to halt its nuclear weapons pursuits. Obama says a new package of punitive steps will likely be developed "over the next several weeks."

He did not get more specific during a brief news conference with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak. Obama and Lee signaled impatience over another nuclear threat, North Korea. They both declared fresh, united steps in getting that nation to give up its own nuclear weapons.

Obama says his envoy will travel to North Korea next month for the first bilateral talks since he took office. Before taking off, Obama visited U.S. troops stationed at the Osan Air Base and thanked them for their service.


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