News / Asia

North Korean Offer for Unconditional Talks Greeted Cautiously

TEXT SIZE - +

A day after North Korea offered to engage in wide-ranging dialogue without any conditions, officials here were dismissive of the gesture.

South Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman Kim Young-sun on Thursday said Pyongyang’s sincerity needs to be expressed by more than words.

The spokesman says North Korea revealed its uranium enrichment facility, which it had been denying existed. Such measures go against the expectations of the global community, so sincerity, Kim says, must be reflected in specific actions, not just through words.

Although South Korean officials showed little enthusiasm for new talks, Kim says government agencies are discussing the latest North Korean statement.

The U.S. State Department says there has to be an "appropriate context" to resume dialogue. Echoing Seoul’s stance, a spokesman said it would include Pyongyang showing progress on its previous commitments to abandon nuclear weapons.

In the latest in a series of overtures advocating dialogue, Pyongyang proposes negotiations with "political parties and organizations of South Korea, including its authorities"” The statement, carried by the North’s official news agency, calls for discussing all inter-Korean issues in unconditional talks.

The conciliatory gestures come after a period of belligerence by Pyongyang. Its military forces in late November shelled a South Korean island, killing four people.

In March of last year, a South Korean navy ship exploded and sank, killing 46 sailors. An international investigation concluded the Cheonan was hit by a North Korean torpedo, but Pyongyang denies any involvement.

As a result of the two incidents, tensions on the Korean peninsula have been high, raising concerns of an all-out war.

A U.S. special envoy is visiting several Asian capitals this week to discuss the approach toward North Korea. Stephen Bosworth held talks Thursday in Beijing, a day after discussions here with South Korean officials. Later in the day, Bosworth left for a visit to Tokyo.

In Seoul on Wednesday he expressed hope negotiations would be able to resume soon but said the United States would never pressure South Korea into returning to the table.

China has called for resuming talks with both Koreas, Russia, Japan and the U.S. The six-nation discussions began in 2003. Two years later North Korea agreed to abandon its quest to become a nuclear power. But the talks have been stalled since 2008, and in 2009 Pyongyang quit the talks and tested a nuclear weapon.

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid