News / Asia

Seoul Welcomes Fresh US Sanctions on Pyongyang

South Korea welcomes additional sanctions the United States will impose on North Korea. They are part of the international effort to restrain the North's illegal nuclear weapons development and other illicit activities.

South Korea's Foreign Ministry says the new sanctions are a positive move, demonstrating the consequences for Pyongyang's bad behavior.

The new sanctions, imposed Monday, target several North Korean companies and government agencies, and four individuals. They are accused of being involved in illicit activities, including acquiring nuclear weapons technology.

U.S. officials stress the new sanctions are not meant to cause hardship for the impoverished North Korean people. Rather they target the flow of luxury items - including automobiles, liquor and gourmet foods - to the country's elite.

Yang Mu-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul, calls the new American measures politically symbolic. But, he says, without China's support, they will not be very effective.

Yang says North Korea will likely criticize the sanctions but will not retaliate. Instead it will put more effort on working with Beijing to re-start the six-party talks about North Korea's nuclear weapons programs.

The United States unveiled the expanded sanctions hours after North Korean state media confirmed that leader Kim Jong Il had just visited China for the second time in four months.

A North Korean radio newscast gave the details of the visit and Mr. Kim's discussions with China's President Hu Jintao.

"The top leaders of the two [Communist] parties and the two countries informed each other of the situations in their countries and had a frank exchange of views," the broadcast stated.

The broadcast listed officials accompanying Mr. Kim. But his third son, Kim Jong Un, was not mentioned, in spite of speculation he went along to be introduced to Chinese leaders as Mr. Kim's successor.

The newscast, however, alluded to the issue. It quoted Mr. Kim telling President Hu that he is on "an important historical mission to hand over to the rising generation the baton of the tradition of Korea-China friendship."

Mr. Kim visited China even though tensions on the Korean peninsula remain high because of the sinking of a South Korean navy ship in March. An international investigation blamed a North Korean torpedo for the incident, which Pyongyang denies.

South Korean media report the country's navy will conduct new drills in the Yellow Sea with U.S. forces starting Sunday. Both countries say a series of war games over the past few months are meant to send a message of deterrence to North Korea.

There are recent signs, however, that Seoul and Washington are willing to engage Pyongyang in renewed dialogue.

South Korea Tuesday offered emergency aid to the North after recent flooding there. Seoul also has indicated it will not demand an apology for the sinking of its ship before talks about ending Pyongyang's nuclear programs can resume.

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead 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.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid