News / Asia

Improving North-South Korean Relations May Depend on China, US Says

Improving North-South Korean Relations May Depend on China, US Saysi
X
April 30, 2013 10:50 AM
South Korean President Park Geun-hye meets with U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington next week for talks that are expected to focus on North Korea's nuclear program. While the two leaders will discuss closer military cooperation, U.S. officials believe Chinese involvement is key to improving relations on the Korean peninsula. More from VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns.
Improving North-South Korean Relations May Depend on China, US Says
South Korean President Park Geun-hye meets with U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington next week for talks that are expected to focus on North Korea's nuclear program.   While the two leaders will discuss closer military cooperation, U.S. officials believe Chinese involvement is key to improving relations on the Korean peninsula.

South Korea's military remains on alert for a missile strike from the North.

"As long as North Korea does not completely withdraw its missiles, our army will keep our security posture high and closely monitor the North's movements," Defense Ministry Spokesman Kim Min-Seok said.

Kim Jong Un's threats against South Korea and the United States heighten the need for military cooperation between Seoul and Washington, according to the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey.

"We may be entering a prolonged period of provocation from Pyongyang," the general warned. "Given the missile threat and Kim Jong Un's reckless rhetoric we have no choice but to improve our defenses."

Secretary of State John Kerry said President Park Geun-hye's future with North Korea may depend largely on China.

"She wants to reach out to the North. She obviously can't do that in the middle of this kind of process.  My hope would be that the Chinese will come to the table in a way that they never have before, that we can work with the Chinese to redefine what's in all of our interests."

Absent that, President Park has little room to maneuver, said American Enterprise Institute analyst Michael Auslin.

"Obviously this consumes her government from the beginning, and it changes all the calculations she may have had on diplomatic outreach, on economic reform," noted Auslin. "On anything she wanted to do, she has come in on day one with a newly-assertive, aggressive, unpredictable North Korean regime to deal with."

Auslin said that is all part of Pyongyang's plan.

"What the North Koreans are obviously hoping is that all the pressure will tame her.  Let's be honest about it," he said.  "They want to not have to deal with a strong, independent-minded president who may be deciding to ally more closely with the United States."

Which is why Secretary Kerry said it is so important to get China more involved.

"Absent China coming to that table, I believe President Kim Jong Un calculates, literally calculates, that 'I can get away with anything if China isn't going to hold me accountable,'" Kerry remarked.

Auslin said that strategy may be working on the South Korean president.

"She came into office talking about breaking the dependency cycle of just giving concessions to the North and getting nothing in return.  And yet after a few weeks of intense and increased rhetoric and concern about what the North would be doing, she has backed off and talked about now reaching out to them," he noted.

President Park's visit to Washington will also include talks on trade and civilian nuclear energy.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs