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

Analyst: Joint-Arab Military Force Poses Perilous Challenge

Although international forces are desperately needed to counter the threat of the Islamic State group, analysts say conflicting alliances could escalate fighting More

Asia’s Middle Class Changes Demand for Wheat Grain Exporters

Changes in tastes and diets are boon for wheat exporters such as Australia and the United States More

S. African Comedian Taking Over Popular TV Show

Mixed-race comedian Trevor Noah, who is loved for his edgy jibes about race and language, is taking the helm from Jon Stewart at The Daily Show in US 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.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More