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

    You May Like

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    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.