News / USA

    Kerry Set to Tackle N. Korea, Syria, Global Economy in Upcoming Trip

    Focus of Kerry's Trip: Syria, North Korea, Global Economyi
    X
    Pamela Dockins
    January 19, 2016 6:33 PM
    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is traveling to Europe, the Middle East and Asia for talks on issues including the multinational effort to bring political stability to Syria and North Korea’s recent nuclear test. VOA State Department Correspondent Pamela Dockins reports the first stop Wednesday will be to Switzerland, where more than 40 heads of state and government are expected to attend the World Economic Forum.
    Pamela Dockins

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is traveling to Europe, the Middle East and Asia for talks on issues including the multinational effort to bring political stability to Syria and North Korea’s recent nuclear test.

    Kerry's first stop Wednesday will be to Switzerland, where more than 40 heads of state and government are expected to attend the World Economic Forum.
     
    Vice President Joe Biden and Defense Secretary Ash Carter also will attend the annual gathering that pairs governments with executives from some of the world’s leading companies.
     
    A senior State Department official says the four economic focal points for Kerry will be the importance of tackling corruption, clean energy initiatives, expanding Internet connectivity, and the environment.

    The annual World Economic Forum serves a “benchmark exercise” for officials on issues that will be of key important to officials for the rest of the year, said John McArthur, a global economy analyst with the Brookings Institution.

    U.N. Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura (r) shows a copy of a Security Council resolution concerning Syria, during a press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (l) and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at U.N. headquarterters.
    U.N. Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura (r) shows a copy of a Security Council resolution concerning Syria, during a press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (l) and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at U.N. headquarterters.

    Russia talks come at critical time
     
    Before the forum, Kerry will meet with his Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
     
    Their bilateral talks come at a critical time in the multinational effort to help foster a political transition in Syria.
     
    The United States and Russia are part of the International Syria Support Group, which is backing a United Nations-led effort to launch political talks between the Syrian government and opposition. The two countries, however, are at odds over support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
     
    Efforts to launch the talks on a political transition in Syria on January 25 appear to be in jeopardy.  

    A U.N. spokesman said Monday the world body could not send out invitations for the talks until there was agreement on which opposition representatives should attend. Earlier, the Syrian government said it wanted to see an opposition list before the talks.
     
    According to Russia’s Interfax news agency, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said Friday there could be more clarity on the date for intra-Syrian talks following the meeting between Kerry and Lavrov.

    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks at a news conference in Tehran, Iran, Jan. 17, 2016. On Monday, Iran's Foreign Ministry called new U.S. sanctions targeting the country's ballistic missile program illegitimate.
    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks at a news conference in Tehran, Iran, Jan. 17, 2016. On Monday, Iran's Foreign Ministry called new U.S. sanctions targeting the country's ballistic missile program illegitimate.



    Iran nuclear implementation is major concern for Gulf leaders
     
    From Switzerland, Kerry travels to Riyadh for talks with Saudi officials and foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council.  
     
    The visit comes days after the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal, an agreement that Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries say could lead to Iran destabilizing the region.
     
    A U.S. effort has been under way to keep tensions between U.S.-ally Saudi Arabia and Iran from spilling over into other issues of regional concern, such as unrest in Yemen.
     
    From Riyadh, Kerry travels to Laos and Cambodia for talks to set the stage for Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in February that will be hosted by President Barack Obama.
     
    The White House says the gathering would “further advance the [Obama] administration’s rebalance to Asia and the Pacific.”

    People look at a map of the border area between North and South Koreas at the Imjingak Pavilion near the border village of Panmunjom, which has separated the two Koreas since the Korean War, in Paju, north of Seoul, South Korea, Jan. 11, 2016.
    People look at a map of the border area between North and South Koreas at the Imjingak Pavilion near the border village of Panmunjom, which has separated the two Koreas since the Korean War, in Paju, north of Seoul, South Korea, Jan. 11, 2016.



    China key in response to North Korea’s nuclear activity
     
    Kerry’s final stop, China, comes amid heightened concerns about North Korea’s test of what Pyongyang said was a nuclear device and the possible response from the international community.
     
    Deputy Secretary of State Anthony Blinken discussed North Korea’s provocation with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts last week in Tokyo.
     
    “All parties affirmed our mutual interest in security, a robust international response to uphold a rules-based order,” the State Department said Monday following the trip.
     
    Analysts say China is key to an effort to convince North Korea to cooperate with the international community.
     
    “North Korea gets something like 80 percent of its food and fuel from China and also China is North Korea’s closest friend, for what it’s worth, in the international community,” said Council on Foreign Relations analyst Scott Snyder.

    He added that China might be reluctant to support additional U.N. Security Council penalties against North Korea because of concern further sanctions against Pyongyang could increase regional instability.

    You May Like

    Video Twists and Turns Aplenty in US Presidential Race

    Even as Americans pause for this week’s Memorial Day holiday, much attention is focused on the presidential contest

    Iran Orders Social Media Sites to Store Data Inside Country

    New requirements are expected to affect the instant messaging app Telegram, which has more than 20 million users inside Iran

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC 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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora