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

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

China to Open Stock Markets to Pension Funds

In unprecedented move, government to soon allow local pension funds to invest up to $94 billion in domestic shares More

1 Billion People Used Facebook on Single Day

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg praised the accomplishment in a posting on the social media site 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
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 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 Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
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 Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
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 Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
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.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs