News / Asia

    Diplomacy with North Korea Takes Center Stage in Seoul

    U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell, right, and South Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Jae-shin leave after their meeting in Seoul, South Korea, October 27, 2011.
    U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell, right, and South Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Jae-shin leave after their meeting in Seoul, South Korea, October 27, 2011.

    The South Korean capital is again the focal point for intensified diplomacy concerning North Korea and its nuclear weapons and missile development.

    South Korean government officials are busy hosting several top level counterparts from Washington and Beijing this week while one of Seoul's senior envoys visits Moscow.   U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell made an unannounced stop in Seoul to discuss the just-concluded second round of direct talks between American and North Korean officials in Geneva.

    The brief, but sudden, visit by Campbell comes at a time when some analysts in contact with diplomats say South Korea is nervous and feeling isolated because of the recent intensified American, Chinese and Russian engagement with Pyongyang.

    In Seoul, Campbell, standing alongside Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Jae-shin, agreed that some progress was made, but told reporters there were no breakthroughs.

    "No decisions have been taken about next steps.  And, one of the reasons that we're here is to begin a process of deep discussion with South Korea so that we can plot our course going forward. In all of our sessions with North Korea we underscore the need for a continuing process of dialogue between the North and the South going forward," Campbell said.

    North Korea's official news agency published comments from the country's foreign minister, saying the rare two-way talks with the Americans made progress and more discussions will be held.

    U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, also visiting the South Korean capital, says he is not sure where dialogue with the North Koreans is heading. "And so for that reason, I guess, the word 'skepticism' would be in order," he said.

    North Korea is blamed for two military attacks last year that claimed 50 South Korean lives in or near disputed waters.

    The U.S. defense secretary says such attacks mean the American and South Korean militaries need to remain vigilant.

    "North Korea remains a serious threat.  Pyongyang has repeatedly demonstrated its willingness to conduct provocations that target innocent lives.  And North Korea also continues to defy the international community as it pursues nuclear weapons and develops advanced missile capabilities," Panetta stated.

    China, which is North Korea's only remaining powerful ally, has been attempting to rally support in other capitals for a resumption of six-nation talks about Pyongyang's nuclear and ballistic-missile programs.   The latest push comes from Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang, who flew to Seoul, after talks in Pyongyang with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.

    In a speech to business leaders in Seoul, Li said Beijing desires to see the de-nuclearization of the Korean peninsula and the resumption of the six-nation talks about Pyongyang's nuclear programs.

    Li says China wishes for all parties to work together and make the necessary contributions to realize peaceful stability of the peninsula and Northeast Asia.  He says China is willing to play a constructive role to help the North and South settle their differences.

    The six-way talks have been stalled for nearly three years.  They were intended to have North Korea abandon its nuclear program in exchange for massive aid, enhanced diplomatic relations and security guarantees.  Since the last round in late 2008, North Korea has tested a second nuclear weapon, launched more missiles and unveiled a uranium-enrichment program.

    Besides the two Koreas the other parties to the talks are China, Japan, Russia and the United States.  There are no diplomatic relations between the two Koreas, which fought a three-year war to a stalemate in the early 1950s.  A peace treaty has never been signed.

    You May Like

    Video How Aleppo Rebels Plan to Withstand Assad's Siege

    Rebels in Aleppo are laying plans to withstand a siege by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in likelihood the regime cuts a final main supply line running west of city

    Scientists Detect Gravitational Waves in Landmark Discovery

    Researchers likened discovery to difference between looking at piece of music on paper and then hearing it in real life

    Prince Ali: FIFA Politics Affected International Fixtures

    Some countries faced unfavorable treatment for not toeing political line inside soccer world body, Jordanian candidate to head FIFA says

    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.
    NATO to Target Migrant Smugglersi
    X
    Jeff Custer
    February 11, 2016 4:35 PM
    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.