News / Asia

Tensions on Korean Peninsula Seen as Softening

Top US envoy for North Korea's nuclear disarmament Stephen Bosworth briefs the media in Beijing. Bosworth is in China for talks as part of a new diplomatic initiative on Pyongyang with his Chinese counterpart Wu Dawei, 16 Sep 2010.
Top US envoy for North Korea's nuclear disarmament Stephen Bosworth briefs the media in Beijing. Bosworth is in China for talks as part of a new diplomatic initiative on Pyongyang with his Chinese counterpart Wu Dawei, 16 Sep 2010.

Increased engagement with reclusive North Korea is seen as a signal the tension on the Korean peninsula may be softening.

South Korea's Foreign Ministry Thursday urged Pyongyang to demonstrate action if it wants nuclear talks to resume.

Ministry spokesman Kim Young-sun says that improving inter-Korean relations and moving toward the six-party talks are inseparable.

Kim says unlike previously, negotiations on six-party talks should start with the ultimate aim of ending North Korea's nuclear program. That way, he says, the rest of the world will know whether Pyongyang is truly willing to take such steps.

North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Il, recently pledged to revive the talks. Since then, there various overtures have come from Pyongyang.

In Beijing, Stephen Bosworth, the top U.S. envoy on North Korea, said the other five nations in the talks will continue to exchange views. But he says "the burden is quite clearly" on North Korea to make the talks happen.

"It is their actions and their activities, and their statements that will make, over time, will determine whether or not the talks can resume and whether the talks will be successful," Bosworth said.

Among the signs that Pyongyang is edging back toward nuclear talks is a meeting set for Friday between the Red Cross societies of North and South Korea. They hope to resume stalled reunions of families separated since the Korean War of the early 1950's.

On Thursday officers from the United Nations Command and the North Korean army held discussions about the sinking of a South Korean navy ship.

An international investigation blamed the sinking of the Cheonan last March on a North Korean torpedo, an accusation Pyongyang denies.

The U.N. Command, led by the United States, monitors the Korean War armistice of 1953.

U.S. military officials say the colonel-level talks lasted nearly three hours and are part of a mechanism to ease tensions that started in 1998. The current discussions are primarily intended to arrange a meeting of general-ranking military officials.

Pyongyang also has asked Seoul for military talks to discuss maritime boundary issues and propaganda leaflets that human rights activists send into the North.

While North Korea is seeking meetings with South Korea and the U.N. Command, it appears to have postponed a rare gathering of its Workers' Party to elect new leaders. Official announcements in the North indicated it would be held early this month. But there is no sign it has begun.

Speculation about the cause of the delay ranges from recent serious flooding to concerns about the health of leader Kim Jong Il.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month 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.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid