News / Asia

Clinton Pledges Continued Cooperation With South Korea

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, right, talks with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during their meeting at presidential house in Seoul, South Korea, April 17, 2011
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, right, talks with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during their meeting at presidential house in Seoul, South Korea, April 17, 2011
Jason Strother

U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has wrapped up a two-day visit to South Korea.   On Sunday she and President Lee Myung-bak reaffirmed their support for ratification of a bilateral free trade agreement as well as for continued cooperation in Afghanistan and Libya.   But, how to engage North Korea remains a lingering concern.  

Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and South Korean President Lee Myung Bak held talks Sunday morning at the President’s office in Seoul.

During her two-day visit here, Clinton reaffirmed Washington’s commitment to improving bilateral ties with South Korea as well as further cooperation on global concerns.

In recent years South Korea and the US have worked closely together on issues such as piracy, climate change and most prominently the war in Afghanistan, says Daniel Pinkston, North East Asia Deputy Project Director of the International Crisis Group in Seoul.

"The South Koreans have been providing support through some engineering units, and through training of police and military in Afghanistan, construction, those types of things," he said.

Secretary Clinton and President Lee also pledged to press for passage of a bilateral free trade agreement that is still waiting ratification by legislators in both countries. Speaking earlier at the US Chamber of Commerce in Seoul, Clinton said that the pact would strengthen the US-South Korea alliance.

However, the most pressing issue for both Seoul and Washington is still how to convince North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program. Multinational talks have been in a standstill for more than two years.

But Daniel Pinkston says there’s another concern that both the US and South Korea should be addressing. The World Food Program and other aid groups say the North will soon face another sever food deficit and millions could go hungry. Pinkston says the two governments might not agree on whether to help North Korea.

"There might be some splits or divisions between Washington and Seoul on that issue. The WFP, FAO, UNICEF report that came out last month painted a pretty bleak picture coming up in the late spring and summer," said Pinkston. "So if there is  a humanitarian crisis in North Korea, its getting pretty late to provide assistance”"

South Korea was once North Korea’s biggest aid donor, but assistance ended when President Lee took office in 2008.  The government here has so far said that it will not resume food aid despite the concerns of humanitarian groups.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
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.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs