News

    Rice Urges North Korea to Re-Enter Nuclear Disarmament Talks

    U.S Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in Tokyo as part of a six-nation Asian tour, has urged North Korea to return to the stalled six-nation talks on Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program. In later remarks, Ms. Rice also gave a hint that there are limits to Washington's patience.

    In what U.S. officials billed as a major policy speech, and later in remarks to reporters, the secretary of state said Saturday it is time for North Korea to stop brandishing its nuclear capability, and resolve the issue in the multilateral arena.

    She called on all nations to use whatever leverage they can to bring Pyongyang back to the negotiating table, where talks are aimed at convincing the North Koreans to dismantle their nuclear programs.

    In a speech at Sophia University early in the day, Ms. Rice reiterated that the United States has no intention of attacking North Korea. But her later remarks contained a hint of a threat, in the event that diplomacy fails.

    "We are committed to diplomacy, but I think it goes without saying that no one is going to be prepared to allow the North Koreans just to continue down a road that threatens everyone," she said.

    Pyongyang, which says it is building nuclear weapons as a deterrent, has said it would not consider new talks, until Ms. Rice apologizes for earlier calling North Korea "an outpost of tyranny." Earlier this week, the North's official news agency called Ms. Rice "bereft of any political logic."

    The U.S. secretary of state has already visited India, Pakistan and Afghanistan on this trip. After Japan, she is due to spend time in South Korea and China.

    She says she will appeal to Chinese officials to use their influence with Pyongyang to help restart the stalled negotiations, but she is playing down expectations that there will be a breakthrough on this trip.

    During a wide ranging meeting with her Japanese counterpart, Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura, on Saturday, the U.S. secretary of state called on Japan to quickly resume U.S. beef imports. She said the matter is "very, very important" to the U.S. government.

    The beef trade has been halted for 15 months, since one dairy cow in Washington State, exported from Canada, was found to have "mad cow" disease.

    Mr. Machimura, standing beside Ms. Rice, told reporters that Japan's Food Safety Commission, not politicians, has to decide on the timing.

    The Japanese foreign minister says it is not possible at this point to state a timeline or a deadline for the resumption of the beef trade.


    Steve Herman

    A veteran journalist, Steve Herman is VOA's Southeast Asia Bureau Chief and Correspondent, based in Bangkok.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora