News / USA

Clinton Urges Conciliatory Steps by North Korea

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, attends a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, right, on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Ministerial Meeting in Nusa Dua, Indonesia Friday, July 22, 20
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, attends a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, right, on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Ministerial Meeting in Nusa Dua, Indonesia Friday, July 22, 20

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says North Korea must act to improve relations with South Korea before six-party talks on Pyongyang’s nuclear program can resume.

Nuclear negotiators of the two Koreas met on the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum in Bali Friday for the first time since negotiations broke down in 2008.

Clinton says the United States is encouraged by the north-south Korean talks on the sidelines of the meeting.

But she says the United States is “firm” in insisting there be further conciliatory steps by Pyongyang toward the Seoul government before the nuclear talks - involving the United States, Russia, China, Japan and the two Koreas - can resume.

The secretary of state spoke at a closed-door meeting of ASEAN and other foreign ministers a day after a meeting of the Korean negotiators that a senior U.S. official said was cordial and yielded some progress.

China’s official Xinhua news agency said Pyongyang proposed resuming the six-party talks without preconditions as soon as possible.

But in her ASEAN statement, Clinton said North Korea must demonstrate a “change in behavior” - ceasing provocative actions, taking steps toward irreversible de-nuclearization, and complying with U.N. resolutions and six-party commitments made in 2005.

Clinton later held a meeting on North Korea with Japanese Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto and their South Korean counterpart Kim Sung-hwan.

A trilateral statement said inter-Korean dialogue should be a “sustained process” and also said there should be no resumption of six-party talks without there first being “sincere efforts” by Pyongyang to improve relations with the south.

In her ASEAN speech, Clinton said Burma, with a new nominally-civilian government, is at a “critical juncture” and that the new authorities need to break with the former military government by responding to the democratic aspirations of the Burmese people.

Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian Affairs Kurt Campbell, who has led a U.S. effort at outreach with Burma since 2009, told reporters Burma should not take its turn as ASEAN’s rotating president without democratic reform.

Campbells said, “They need to make a decision about whether they’re prepared to differentiate themselves from the previous military rulers and take the necessary steps to demonstrate that they are prepared to join the international community. And we think those steps are necessary if Burma is to play a role as the host of the ASEAN meetings in 2014. And without those steps, we feel the regime will lack the necessary international legitimacy.”

In her message, Clinton also commended ASEAN and China for their agreement Wednesday on guidelines for the peaceful resolution of territorial disputes over waters of the South China Sea.

China and ASEAN members Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines, as well as Taiwan, have made overlapping claims to the strategic and potentially oil-rich ocean region, with China claiming by far the largest part.

Clinton said she is concerned that recent incidents involving naval vessels and other assets of the competing countries threaten the peace and stability on which recent Asia-Pacific economic progress is built.

She said the parties should pursue their claims in accordance with international law including the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention.

A senior U.S. official who briefed reporters said almost all the contesting countries have made “exaggerated claims” but declined to be more specific.

He said the United States would like to see the parties, as a next step, lay out their rival claims and rationales for them in detail under the Law of the Sea Treaty framework.

The official said the most important part of that treaty is that it makes clear that territorial boundaries at sea are derived from land features and are not, as he put it, “simply drawn in open ocean.”

The United States signed the treaty in 1994 but the Senate has not ratified it. The senior official said the United States abides by its terms and that lack of ratification has not impeded U.S. diplomacy on the issue.

You May Like

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad 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.
Jane Monheit Christmas Speciali
December 22, 2014 8:15 PM
Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.

Video Trade Talks Could Heat Up in 2015

With boosting trade a top priority for the Obama administration, 2015 may be the year that an agreement is finally reached on the Trans Pacific Partnership. But the trade deal, which is intended to boost trade between 12 Pacific countries, faces opposition as VOA's Jim Randle reports.

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school

All About America