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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called this week's accord between the rival Koreas "a landmark occasion" paving the way for defused military tension and improved ties, but said it was the strength of its armed forces that made the deal possible. North and South Korea agreed early on Tuesday to end a military standoff that sparked an exchange of artillery fire and had ratcheted up tension on one of the world's most heavily-fortified borders. "The joint press release published at the contact provided a crucial landmark occasion of defusing the acute military tension and putting the catastrophic inter-Korean relations on the track of reconciliation and trust," the North's KCNA news agency on Friday quoted Kim as saying in a meeting with military aides.
President Barack Obama paid tribute to New Orleans and its people after seeing first-hand Thursday how far the "Big Easy" has come, 10 years after Hurricane Katrina laid waste to swathes of one of America's most famous cities. "You inspire me," Obama told a community center to applause, after rolling up his sleeves on a stroll through the historic African-American community of Treme, stopping to chat with residents for whom Katrina remains etched in memory. "This city is moving in the right direction and I have never been more confident that together we will get to where we need to go," Obama said before the crowd of 600 people at the community center in the Lower Ninth Ward, one of the poorest and worst storm-hit areas of the city.