News / Asia

North Korea, 'Asia Pivot', Tops Kerry's Agenda

N Korea, 'Asia Pivot', Tops Kerry's Agendai
X
April 11, 2013 11:24 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry makes his first trip to Asia later this week, where he will be talking about North Korea and a more active U.S. military and diplomatic presence in the region. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has this preview.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry makes his first trip to Asia later this week, where he will be talking about North Korea and a more active U.S. military and diplomatic presence in the region. 

On Asia, President Obama's second term starts where his first left off --boosting military, diplomatic, and commercial assets in the region as part of a so-called "Asia Pivot."

Ahead of his first trip to Asia as secretary of state, John Kerry compared U.S. goals for the region to those of North Korea.

"We want to see a peaceful community of nations trading with each other, working to improve the lives of their citizens; and that is in direct contrast to the North, which maintains gulags, has thousands of political prisoners, treats people in the most inhumane way, and now starves their people in order to build nuclear weapons," Kerry stated.

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry introduces South Korean President Park Geun-hye to his senior staff members as they meet at the presidential Blue House in Seoul, April 12, 2013.
  • South Korean protesters stage a rally, denouncing U.S.-South Korean joint military exercises as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visits Seoul, April 12, 2013.
  • G8 foreign ministers taking part in the meeting at Lancaster House, London, April 11, 2013.
  • Backdropped by Buckingham Place, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, surrounded by aides and security detail takes a walk at the Green Park in central London.
  • Protesters hold banners and placards during a demonstration near the G8 foreign ministers’ meeting in London, April 11, 2013.
  • Israeli President Shimon Peres shakes hands with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sits between them during a ceremony marking Israel's annual day of Holocaust remembrance, at Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, April 8, 2013.
  • Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas meets with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in the West Bank city of Ramallah, April 7, 2013.
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu at Ciragan Palace in Istanbul, April 7, 2013.
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his wife Teresa Heinz Kerry board a second plane after their original aircraft had mechanical problems at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland April 6, 2013.

With so much at stake - and needing China's help with North Korea - American University professor Pek Koon Heng sees no change in Washington's Asia engagement.

"The whole bundle of issues about trade and defense and security and political cooperation and global issues, China more than any other country is who the U.S. has to work with. So I don't see the Americans taking their eyes off the ball in the second Obama administration," she said.

Stepped up Chinese military maneuvers are seen as a sign of Beijing's concern over U.S. forces shifting focus from Afghanistan and Iraq to Asia.

"China has this as its own ambition. It's not flexing because of the sense that we're preoccupied in the Middle East," said Ruth Wedgwood, a professor at Johns Hopkins University.  "Frankly, I don't think the U.S. yet has pushed back quite hard enough," she added. "You want to be delicate in how you do it with two superpowers."

Wedgwood says it would be a mistake for the United States to allow Chinese forces to do as they please, especially in the ongoing maritime disputes in the South China Sea.

But Christian LeMiere, of the  International Institute for Strategic Studies, says China is leaving little room for dialogue.

"China's attitude towards the South China Sea is one of slowly continuing to develop its diplomatic, physical, and military might so that they can continue to dominate the South China Sea to a greater extent, avoiding conflict where possible, but certainly seeing this from a very emotional, national sovereignty issue which doesn't brook any possible discussion on negotiations," noted LeMiere.

Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton pushed hard on the Asia pivot, assuring China it had nothing to fear.
 
But Cato Institute analyst Justin Logan says Beijing is not convinced.

"There has been all this rhetoric that the pivot or re-balancing is not about China," he said. "Will the administration continue to be able to sell that line as it flies in the face of everything that we see unfolding?"

So far, Chinese concern about a more muscular U.S. presence in the Asia-Pacific has not detracted from efforts to contain North Korea as Beijing has joined Washington in tougher U.N. sanctions against Pyongyang.

You May Like

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Sherry from: CA
April 12, 2013 4:12 AM
How to make clear whether N.K. realy owns massacre nuclear weapons? Keep eyes on the PRC reactions, because PRC who never allows of NK`s nuclear weapons has ability to supervise N.K. If PRC just denounces or sends small troops, it will not make sense. Mass military practice at the border is the only evidence to prove the severe condition because after all, the practice costs much.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs