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Talks set in Washington; Obama calls China's Hu to discuss North Korea

WASHINGTON (AP) - As diplomats from the United States, South Korea and Japan prepare for talks today in Washington on North Korea's recent actions, President Barack Obama has been on the phone with his counterpart in China.

The White House says he asked that China let North Korea know that its aggressive moves are unacceptable. That includes not just the artillery fire that killed four South Koreans last month, but also the North's expansion of its nuclear program in a way that could boost its atomic arsenal.

China says President Hu Jintao appealed for restraint on all sides.

South Korea's Foreign Ministry says senior envoys from Washington, Seoul and Tokyo met yesterday to prepare for today's conference in Washington.

South Korea, meanwhile, has begun naval firing drills, despite a warning from the North that those drills would heighten tensions. It's firing artillery into the waters off the Korean peninsula, as part of exercises that are set to continue through the week.

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