News / Asia

N. Korean Call for New Nuclear Talks Prompts Wary US Response

North Korea's First Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan at opening ceremony of 10th anniversary of six party talks, Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, Beijing, Sept. 18, 2013.
North Korea's First Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan at opening ceremony of 10th anniversary of six party talks, Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, Beijing, Sept. 18, 2013.
VOA News
North Korea has called again for the resumption of multi-nation talks on its nuclear program. But the United States — a key participant in the so-called six-party negotiations — says Pyongyang first must take "meaningful action" on earlier promises to end its nuclear weapons program.
 
The public exchange between Pyongyang and Washington began Wednesday, when North Korea's first vice foreign minister, Kim Kye Gwan, called for a new round of talks without preconditions. He spoke in Beijing at a forum marking the 10th anniversary of the talks, which the North abandoned in 2009.
 
In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf later said "the onus" is in on North Korea to honor its earlier promises "to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs."
 
Since quitting the talks, Pyongyang has defied United Nations resolutions with two underground nuclear tests, and has ignored further U.N. directives with multiple missile launches. It conducted a third nuclear test earlier this year.
 
In his Beijing comments, Kim — the North's chief nuclear envoy — said attaching such preconditions causes "mistrust." He blamed Washington's "hostility toward North Korea" for increased tensions.
 
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said "all parties should be devoted to restarting the six-party talks."
 
Those negotiations involved North Korea, South Korea, the United States, Japan, China and Russia. They were aimed at getting the North to abandon its nuclear program in exchange for badly needed foreign aid.
 
Last week, the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University said Pyongyang likely has restarted a closed plutonium reactor at its main Yongbyon nuclear complex. It based its conclusion on recent satellite photos that appear to show white steam emerging from a building near the reactor.
 
The reactor was shut down in 2007 under an aid-for-disarmament deal worked out by the six-nation process. But in April, Pyongyang warned it would restart all operations at Yongbyon to boost its nuclear force in both "quantity and quality."
 
Some information for this report was provided by AP.

You May Like

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video Survivor Video Testimonies Recount Horrors of Guatemalan Genocide

During a conflict that spanned more than three decades, tens of thousands of indigenous Mayans were killed More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs