Philippine President 'regrets' remarks about Obama

President Barack Obama says the United States will work with allies to toughen sanctions on North Korea after further ballistic missile launches Monday.

President Barack Obama says the United States has a moral obligation to help Laos heal and that the USA wants to help the Lao government invest in its people. Duterte rolled his sleeves down and buttoned them when Laotian President Bounnhang Vorachith gave a speech to open the summit. It was intended as the capstone on his administration's foreign policy rebalancing in the region.

"The United States is more deeply engaged across the Asia-Pacific than we have been in decades", Obama said. "We've sent a message that we're here to stay".

Duterte called Obama a "son of a whore", saying that he would not be lectured by the United States leader on human rights, according to AFP news agency.

Later, on Monday afternoon, the White House announced the meeting was canceled.

The Obama administration is committing to Laos some $90 million to help clean up the unexploded ordinance the USA dropped on the country during the Vietnam War. Speaking on the brutal rape and murder of Australian missionary Jacqueline Hamill, Duterte said, "I was angry she was raped, yes that was one thing".

In a statement read by his spokesman, Duterte said his "strong comments" in response to questions by a reporter "elicited concern and distress, we also regret it came across as a personal attack on the USA president".

China, of course, is not eager for a USA return.

From 1964 to 1973, the US carried out 580,000 bombing missions in Laos, dropping more than 270 million cluster bombs in a CIA-led campaign as part of the expanding regional battles from neighboring Vietnam, according to the National Regulatory Authority for unexploded UXO/Mine Action in Laos.

Laos is the final Asian visit of Obama's eight-year presidency, during which he has sought to refocus American military, political and economic resources on the region. It flies surveillance flights over the South China Sea from planes that are maintained in Singapore.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has vowed to personally tear apart and eat Abu Sayyaf Islamic militants, in a bloodthirsty vow of revenge for deadly attacks.

Obama became the first USA president to visit Laos when he arrived in the once-isolated country on Monday to attend two regional summits, half a century after America's "secret war" left Laos with the unfortunate distinction of being the most heavily bombed country, per capita, in history.

Obama's comments come after a meeting with President Park Geun-hye (goon-hay) of South Korea on Tuesday.

In a statement read out by his spokesman, Duterte said that while his "strong comments" in response to questions by a reporter "elicited concern and distress, we also regret it came across as a personal attack on the USA president".

Southeast Asian nations may not take too kindly to Obama calling them out on human rights.

Obama is the first sitting US president to set foot in the impoverished, landlocked country. The outreach is a core element of Obama's attempt to shift USA diplomatic and military resources away from the Middle East and into Asia in order to counter China's dominance in the region and ensure a foothold in growing markets.

Some Southeast Asian nations have expressed concern about the fate of the TPP, warning it can't be renegotiated.

Earlier in the day, the President also met Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong ang Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Obama called the Philippines a close "friend and ally" of the US. "Do not just throw questions".

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