News / Asia

Kerry Offers Talks if North Korea Moves to Scrap Nukes

U.S. Secretary of Sate John Kerry, left, is greeted by Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida prior to their meeting at Foreign Ministry's Iikura Guesthouse in Tokyo, April 14, 2013.
U.S. Secretary of Sate John Kerry, left, is greeted by Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida prior to their meeting at Foreign Ministry's Iikura Guesthouse in Tokyo, April 14, 2013.
VOA News
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has offered to negotiate with North Korea for a peaceful resolution of tensions on the Korean peninsula if Pyongyang takes steps toward abandoning nuclear weapons.

The top U.S. diplomat said Pyongyang has a "clear course of action available to it" and will find a "ready partner" for negotiations in the United States.  

Kerry made the comment Sunday, at a news conference with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo.  Both called for North Korea to act first by resuming a process of scrapping its nuclear-weapons program.

But in separate remarks , Kerry said he will have to consult with colleagues in Washington about what specific actions they believe Pyongyang must take.

Kerry also reiterated Washington's commitment to the defense of Japan, a key U.S. ally.  North Korea has made repeated threats to attack the United States and its regional allies, including Japan and South Korea.  

Pyongyang has been angered by joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises that it sees as a prelude to an invasion of the North. Washington and Seoul have insisted the drills are defensive.  North Korea also has reacted angrily to the latest U.N. sanctions imposed on it for carrying out a nuclear test in February.  The United States and South Korea were among the main advocates of the sanctions.

Kerry is due to meet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday.  The two are expected to discuss North Korea's weapons programs. Speaking Sunday on a visit to Iwo Jima, Abe said the international community must send Pyongyang a message that "provocative" acts will not bring any benefit to the North Korean people.

Japan has deployed missiles around Tokyo to intercept any North Korean rockets launched toward its territory.

In a message broadcast Sunday, North Korea dismissed the South's latest offer of dialogue as a "crafty trick." Pyongyang's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea said there will be no talks unless Seoul abandons what it called a "confrontational attitude."

South Korea proposed the dialogue on Thursday, as a way of ending a crisis at the North's Kaesong industrial zone, where South Korean businesses employ cheap North Korean labor near the inter-Korean border.  North Korean authorities withdrew the zone's more than 50,000 workers last week and blocked South Korean access to it, leading to a shutdown of manufacturing.

The zone is the last remaining site of inter-Korean economic cooperation.

Prior to Tokyo, Secretary Kerry visited Beijing, where he and Chinese foreign policy chief Yang Jiechi pledged to work together to resolve the Korean crisis. The two diplomats said Saturday they support the goal of a nuclear-free Korean peninsula.

You May Like

French Refugee Drama Wins Cannes Top Prize

Dheepan is about a group of Sri Lankan refugees who pretend to be a family in order to flee their war-torn country for a housing project in France More

Photogallery Crisis in Macedonia Requires Meaningful and Swift Measures

The international community has called on Macedonian leadership to take concrete measures in support of democracy in order to exit the crisis More

Activists: IS Executes 217 Civilians, Soldiers Near Palmyra

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Sunday said the victims include nurses, women, children and Syrian government fighters More

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