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

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee 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.
To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violencei
X
Lenny Ruvaga
November 27, 2014 7:05 PM
The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid