News / Asia

Obama Closely Monitoring North Korea Situation

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney (file photo)
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney (file photo)

U.S. President Barack Obama, his advisers and other officials in his administration are closely monitoring the situation in North Korea, following the death of the country's leader Kim Jong Il.

Press Secretary Jay Carney responded to at least seven questions from reporters about North Korea on Monday, including what the president has been doing to follow the situation and what consultations he has had about it.

Carney said that after hearing late Sunday from his chief of staff about Kim's death, President Obama telephoned South Korea's President Lee Myung Bak.

Mr. Obama has received regular briefings.  Carney noted that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and other officials have been in touch with their counterparts in South Korea, and with officials in Russia, China and Japan - the other members of the stalled six-party talks with North Korea.

Carney said there are no additional concerns about the nuclear security situation on the Korean peninsula in the aftermath of Kim Jong Il's death, adding that Washington will continue to press Pyongyang to meet its international obligations.

Carney had this response when asked whether the political transition underway in Pyongyang posed greater instability or a new diplomatic opening.

"I think it is much too early to make any kind of judgment like that.  This is a period where North Korea is in a period of national mourning and we hope that the new North Korean leadership will take the steps necessary to support peace, prosperity and a better future for the North Korean people - including as I say acting on its commitments to de-nuclearization," Carney said.

Saying that U.S. concerns about North Korea are not about personalities but about "the actions of the government," Carney added that it would be premature to make assessments of North Korea's new leadership or the chance of resuming the six-party talks.

Reporters pressed the president's spokesman on the status of what news reports say was an expected U.S. announcement of food aid to North Korea after months of intense negotiations with Pyongyang.  Carney declined to confirm reports that Washington was on the verge of announcing a food aid deal with Pyongyang.  The United States, he said, continues to insist on adequate monitoring to ensure that aid is not diverted from those in need in North Korea.

The State Department says consultations on the food aid issue have been postponed because of Kim Jong Il's death, adding that no decision on the subject has been made.

You May Like

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine 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.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid