News / Asia

North, South Korea Hold Talks at ASEAN Conference

East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers pose for a photo before their meeting in Bali, Indonesia, July 22, 2011.
East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers pose for a photo before their meeting in Bali, Indonesia, July 22, 2011.

Diplomats from North and South Korea have met on the sidelines of an Asian security conference in Bali to discuss resuming six-nation talks on Pyongyang's nuclear weapons. This is the first such high-level contact since the talks stalled in 2008.

ASEAN chairman and Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said facilitating Friday's meeting between North and South Korean officials was one of his objectives for the regional security forum.

“The fact that the two Koreas met at official levels and the senior official level should not be underestimated, its importance. Because if we try, we can create fresh momentum for peaceful resolution and addressing all the matter on the Korean peninsula," he said.

North Korea walked out of six-party negotiations to end its nuclear weapons program in 2008 to protest international criticism of its missile and nuclear tests. Relations with South Korea have been tense ever since.

Foreign ministers from all six countries involved in the negotiations, the United States, China, Russia, Japan and North and South Korea, are attending the ASEAN conference in Bali, raising expectations that informal talks could take place.

Pyongyang, which badly needs humanitarian and economic aid has indicated in recent months that it might be ready to return to the negotiations.

South Korea's Wi Sung-lac.
South Korea's Wi Sung-lac.
South Korea has been reluctant to do so until the North apologizes for two military incidents last year that left 50 South Koreans dead, which Pyongyang has refused to do.

Seoul's chief nuclear negotiator Wi Sung-lac said his meeting with North Korea's nuclear envoy Ri Yong Ho was "very constructive."

The South's Yonhap news agency quoted Ri Yong Ho as saying they had agreed to work together to resume the stalled talks.

North Korea's Ri Yong Ho.
North Korea's Ri Yong Ho.
Natalegawa says Friday's meeting is a step in the right direction.

He also says ASEAN and China's agreement on guidelines for developing a code of conduct to settle disputes in the South China Sea is a step toward peacefully resolving another potential conflict.

China, Taiwan the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei and Malaysia hold conflicting territorial claims in the South China Sea, which is believed to hold huge oil and gas reserves. Some ASEAN members complain the guidelines do not directly focus on the disputed areas, but Natalegawa says they are something to build on.

“As I said before these guidelines are not a pancea, not like a solution to all problems in the South China Sea," he said. "But it is far better to have it than not to have it, if not only because of the content, but what it symbolizes. It symbolizes, irrespective of the content, that China and ASEAN can get things done.”

The U.S. has expressed support for the guidelines and ASEAN's efforts to address regional problems through negotiations and compromise. Washington says that freedom of shipping in the South China Sea is one of its national interests.

You May Like

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More