News / Asia

US, N. Korea Trade Criticisms Over Korean Peninsula Tensions

The United States and North Korea have blamed each other for rising tensions on the Korean peninsula.  The recriminations came at a regional security forum in Vietnam where concerns have been raised about North Korean aggression. At the forum, concerns were also raised about nuclear ambitions in North Korea and Burma.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Friday said North Korea was on a campaign of provocative, dangerous behavior.

Washington and Seoul say North Korea in March torpedoed a South Korean navy ship, killing 46 sailors.  Pyongyang denies it was responsible.

Clinton made the comments in Hanoi to an annual meeting of Asia Pacific and Western ministers, including North Korea's.

Joint exercise

A spokesman for North Korea's delegation responded by lashing out at weekend plans for a joint U.S.-South Korea military exercise in the Sea of Japan, saying they posed a threat to all of Asia.

Ri Tong Il told journalists the maneuvers planned for Sunday were against North Korean sovereignty and compared them to 19th century gunboat diplomacy.

He referred to North Korea using its official name, the DPRK, or Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"It is another expression of hostile policy against the DPRK and DPRK position [is] clear.  There will be physical response towards this threat," he said.

Representatives from 26 nations and the European Union met in Hanoi for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations' Regional Forum.

Cause for concern

The ministerial-level meetings discuss security and cooperation but were overshadowed by concerns about North Korea and Burma.

At a briefing following the meeting Clinton said it was distressing that North Korea continues to issue threats, causing anxiety among its neighbors and the region.  But she said despite Pyongyang's actions Washington was keeping a door open for diplomacy.

"If they are willing to commit themselves, as they did five years ago in 2005, to the irreversible denuclearization that would make the entire Korean peninsula, not just the south but the north as well, free of nuclear weapons, we are willing to meet with them, we're willing to negotiate, to move toward normal relations, economic assistance.  We want to help the people of North Korea," she said.

Clinton warning

Clinton warned North Korea's proliferation of conventional weapons and nuclear knowledge could lead to a nuclear arms race in the region, which she said was one of the greatest dangers facing the world today.

She said it was critical that Burma's neighbors urge the military government to abide by the nuclear non-proliferation treaty amid reports that the military government may be seeking a nuclear weapon with North Korean help.  Burma denies a defector's claim that he worked on a secret nuclear program.

"I also urged Burma to put in place the necessary conditions for credible elections, including releasing all political prisoners, especially Aung San Suu Kyi, respecting basic human rights and ceasing attacks against their ethnic minorities," she said.

Burma is to hold elections this year, the first in two decades, but critics dismiss the polls as a sham designed to keep the military in power.

Sanctions announced

This week Clinton announced new economic sanctions against Pyongyang.  U.S. lawmakers also voted to renew sanctions against Burma for rights violations.

At the ASEAN meeting Clinton also said Washington was willing to help negotiate competing claims over island territories in the South China Sea.

China, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam all claim territory in the sea.

Clinton said the U.S. was willing to help mediate the disputes but that Washington did not support any country's claims.

You May Like

Hostage Crisis Could Divide Japan Over Plans to Boost Military

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Monday the government is working closely with the Jordanian government to secure the release of remaining Japanese hostage Kenji Goto More

Video Brussels Shaken as New Greek Leader Challenges Europe’s Austerity Drive

Country's youngest ever PM Alexis Tsipras, 40, sworn in Monday and says he will restore dignity to Greece by ending spending cuts More

Multimedia National Geographic Photo Camps Empower Youth

Annual mentoring program's mission is to give young people a voice to tell their own stories through photography More

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.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid