News / Asia

North Korea Warned of Deeper Isolation Should Provocations Continue

South Korea's chief nuclear envoy Lim Sung-nam, center, his Japanese counterpart Shinsuke Sugiyama, left, and U.S. envoy on North Korea Glyn Davies pose before talks in Seoul, South Korea, May 21, 2012.
South Korea's chief nuclear envoy Lim Sung-nam, center, his Japanese counterpart Shinsuke Sugiyama, left, and U.S. envoy on North Korea Glyn Davies pose before talks in Seoul, South Korea, May 21, 2012.
SEOUL - A high-level U.S. delegation focused on North Korean matters met with South Korean and Japanese diplomats in Seoul Monday. The group had words of warning for North Korea.

Key U.S., South Korean and Japanese diplomats held talks for the first time since North Korea's provocative rocket launch attempt last month.  The rocket exploded less than two minutes into its flight.

Host envoy Lim Sung-nam said if Pyongyang is willing to take a different path it would "lead North Korea to the right side of peace."

Pledge of unified response

But the diplomats are also pledging a unified response should Pyongyang go ahead with any more provocations, such as a third attempted nuclear test.

Glyn Davies, the U.S. special envoy for North Korea policy, warned Pyongyang that such an act would prove to be a serious miscalculation.

"This new regime in Pyongyang saw that the world community, the international community, was united in reacting to the missile launch on April 13th," he said. "And so they know if they engage in another provocation, such as a nuclear test, they will once again be subject to a united action by the international community."

After the failed launch, which Pyongyang termed an attempt to peacefully place a satellite into space, the U.N. Security Council imposed sanctions against three additional North Korean entities linked to the impoverished country's ballistic missile development.

Sanctions

Diplomats on Monday said further provocations would mean more sanctions imposed by the world body. But the senior Japanese diplomat for Asia affairs, Shinsuke Sugiyama, declined to elaborate on how else Pyongyang might be punished.

"It is in that context that we certainly did extensively exchange views of each one, of analysis about how things look like and how things are likely to happen - or unlikely to happen. But I don't think I can be in a position to disclose all of the substantive elements of the discussions," said Shinsuke Sugiyama.

At their summit Saturday at Camp David, Group of Eight world leaders issued a declaration warning North Korea it will face more sanctions should it continue to threaten the stability of the region.

North Korea conducted rocket launches, followed by nuclear tests, in 2006 and 2009. Thus, there is speculation that this year's launch attempt will also be followed by a nuclear detonation.

Secret US mission?

Less than a week before the latest launch, a U.S. delegation is believed to have made a secret one-day trip to Pyongyang.

U.S. envoy Davies was asked about that clandestine journey by reporters Monday at South Korea's foreign ministry.

"I don't have anything for you on that. I understand your need to ask those questions, but I can't help you," he said.

An Internet news channel says South Korea's military air traffic controllers were initially unable to identify the secret April flight because they were not notified in advance that a U.S. jet would be transiting their air space and flying into North Korea.

The online KBS Reset says the Americans were hoping to convince the North Koreans not to go ahead with the planned launch of a multi-stage rocket from the new Sohae space center.

Davies and other U.S. officials plan to meet Tuesday in Beijing with China's chief nuclear envoy, Wu Dawei. They head to Japan the following day for talks in Tokyo.

Also on the Asia trip are the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Japan and Korean Affairs, Jim Zumwalt, and Ambassador Ford Hart, the State Department's envoy in charge of the long-stalled six-party talks about North Korea's nuclear programs.  They are joined by the Korea policy chief at the White House, Syd Seiler, who spent nearly 30 years in the intelligence community focused on North Korea.

Steve Herman

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

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid