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, Steven L Herman is the Voice of America Asia correspondent.

You May Like

Polls Open in Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

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.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid