News / Asia

    North Korea Proposes Talks with US

    North Korea's authoritative National Defense Commission says there should be unconditional high level talks with the United States.

    In Washington, National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said the United States is open to "credible negotiations" with North Korea, but Pyongyang must comply with U.N. Security Council resolutions and agree to denuclearization.

    She said the U.S. will "judge North Korea by its actions, and not its words."

    This comes following previous vows by Pyongyang to attack the United States and South Korea with nuclear weapons, threats not taken seriously during a period of escalated bellicose rhetoric from North Korea.

    The North Korean proposal, released Sunday morning Korea time, was introduced by announcers on state broadcasting as an “important announcement.”

    A North Korean television announcer said “if the United States has true intent on defusing tensions on the Korean peninsula and ensuring peace and stability on the U.S. mainland and the region, it should not raise preconditions for dialogue and contact.”

    There was no immediate response from the White House.

    The initial reaction from analysts in Seoul is that the United States is unlikely to respond positively.

    Pyongyang's proposal repeats its long-standing assertion that dismantling its nuclear weapons programs would be on the table only as part of wider talks to denuclearize the region, namely removing the U.S. nuclear umbrella from the Asia-Pacific region.

    At the International Crisis Group, deputy director for Northeast Asia, Daniel Pinkston, reacting on the Twitter social messaging service, said North Korea “really went overboard to ensure the offer would be rejected."

    U.S. officials repeatedly have said North Korea needs to demonstrate sincerity about dialogue. Analysts say before any talks could begin North Korea would need to show willingness to bargain in good faith by implementing commitments and previous agreements it has made regarding its nuclear programs.

    Pyongyang is under international sanctions for its continuing development of technology that could one day allow it to place miniaturized nuclear weapons atop a ballistic missile that would be capable of striking targets across the Pacific Ocean.

    North Korea, in its talks proposal, characterizes those sanctions as “gangster-like” and “masterminded” by the United States.

    North Korea, less than two weeks ago, offered to engage in talks with the rival South. Pyongyang also said it would leave the venue and date up to Seoul.

    Working-level talks were quickly arranged to discuss the offer. But one day before the scheduled rare high-level talks in Seoul, North Korea said it would not send its delegation. The two Koreas could not agree on the names submitted by the other for the leaders of their respective delegations.

    South Korea's semi-official news agency quotes a source in the governing Saenuri Party in Seoul saying North Korea last month asked China for recognition as a nuclear weapons state. The source, according to Yonhap, claims North Korea's Vice Marshal Choe Ryong Hae made the request during a meeting in Beijing with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

    Steve Herman

    A veteran journalist, Steve Herman is VOA's Southeast Asia Bureau Chief and Correspondent, based in Bangkok.

    You May Like

    Candidates' Comments Fly Like New Hampshire Snowflakes

    Four days ahead of the country's first-in-the-nation Republican and Democratic party primary elections, surveys show the parties' contests tightening

    South Korea Says North Korea Moving Closer to Rocket Launch

    In phone call, US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping agree that Pyongyang's move would be 'provocative'

    Australian Commander: IS Changing Tactics

    Head of Australian forces in Middle East talks with VOA about training Iraqi troops, countering evolving Islamic State efforts and defeating extremism

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Davis K. Thanjan from: New York
    June 16, 2013 8:54 PM
    Can President Obama dance to the tune of the northern light, I mean the irrational baby dictator of DPRK?

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.