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

    Vietnam Urges US to Lift Lethal Weapons Ban Amid S. China Sea Tensions

    US president’s upcoming visit to Vietnam underscores strength of relationship, and lifting embargo would reflect that trust, ambassador says

    Are US Schools Turning a Blind Eye to Radical Qatari Preachers?

    Parade of radical Islamist clerics using mosque at Qatar’s Education City draws mounting criticism for American universities that maintain satellite branches there

    Why Islamic State Is Down But Not Out

    Despite loss of territory, group’s ferocious attacks over past three months seen as testimony to its continued durability and resourcefulness

    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.
    Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroadi
    X
    May 02, 2016 1:36 PM
    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora