News / USA

North Korea Tensions Overshadow Regional Forum

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announces new sanctions against Pyongyang amidst ASEAN hopes to help restart dialogue on issue

Daniel Schearf

Tensions concerning North Korea are expected to overshadow meetings in Vietnam between foreign ministers of Asia Pacific and Western nations. The forum is set to begin as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced new sanctions against Pyongyang for its nuclear program. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is hoping to help restart dialogue on the issue.

Foreign ministers with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will meet with representatives from 16 other nations and the European Union to discuss security issues and cooperation.

South and North Korea are seeking diplomatic support on the sinking of a South Korean navy ship in March that killed 46 sailors.

Seoul says North Korea torpedoed the ship – a claim backed by an international investigation. But Pyongyang denies it is responsible for the attack.

The issue has stalled six-nation efforts to return to negotiations to end North Korea's nuclear program.

ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan told journalists the Southeast Asian ministers hope the regional forum will encourage dialogue for a return to six-party talks. He said the fact that North Korea's foreign minister is attending the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) after a 10-year absence is, what he called, a very significant symbol.

"ASEAN has been saying that look, all six of you are in ARF,” Surin said. “Why not make use of the forum; why not make use of the mechanism and process here. And that is what the ASEAN foreign ministers have been trying to do."

The six nations involved in the nuclear talks are China, the United States, Japan, Russia, and North and South Korea.

Few observers believe the six will meet to discuss the North Korea issue during the meetings in Hanoi.

Seoul and Washington have said they will not return to talks until North Korea admits it was responsible for sinking the South Korean ship.

On the eve of the ASEAN meeting, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced new sanctions against the North during a visit to South Korea. The new sanctions target illicit money-making activities that are used to fund weapons production and acquire luxury goods for Pyongyang's leadership.

Clinton will attend meetings Thursday and Friday in Hanoi and could cross paths with the North Korean foreign minister.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa told journalists the uncertainty concerning North Korea is not good for the region and could not be left unresolved.

"Even, you can disagree in a most frank and candid manner, as we say in our parlance,” said Natalegawa. “But at least if you are sitting in the same room, that is better than not to have talk at all."

ASEAN members include Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Late Tuesday, they issued a statement condemning the sinking of the South Korean ship, but it did not assign blame. The statement also urged all sides to return to six-party talks to negotiate a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.

You May Like

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees More

At Boston Bombing Hearing, Sides Spar Over Boat

At final pre-trial hearing, lawyers for suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, prosecutors disagree on whether vessel where he hid from police can be shown to jurors More

Iran Judiciary 'Picks' Lawyer for Detained WP Reporter

Masoud Shafii has been attempting to secure official recognition as Rezaian’s attorney, but is not allowed to see his client in prison 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

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