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
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid