News / Asia

US Asks South Korea to Join with Additional Sanctions Against Iran

TEXT SIZE - +

The United States is asking one of its key Asian allies, South Korea, to join it in toughening sanctions against Iran. This comes in response to rising concern about Iran's nuclear program.

As the United States and countries of the European Union discuss restricting Iran's lucrative oil exports, other nations are being approached to curtail business relations with Tehran.

The International Atomic Energy Agency of the United Nations last month issued a report outlining more evidence Iran is working to design a nuclear weapon.

Tehran says its nuclear activities are only to generate electricity.

But, since the report, Western nations have taken a series of actions aimed at further isolating Iran. As part of those diplomatic maneuvers, the U.S. State Department's adviser for non-proliferation and arms control, Robert Einhorn, is in the Republic of Korea this week.

Einhorn says he understands South Korea, with scant fossil fuel resources, may be reluctant to significantly reduce purchases of Iranian crude oil. But he says South Korea and other allies in a similar situation can switch suppliers of petrochemicals.

"I think the ROK [South Korean] government recognizes the importance at this particular juncture of sending a clear, unified message to Iran," said Einhorn.  "We have, I think, gotten a positive reaction the ROK government is continuing to give consideration to what additional measures it wishes to take."

About 10 percent of South Korea's total oil imports come from Iran.

That accounts for half of the total trade between the two countries. But South Korea is also taking into consideration the close relationship on advanced weapons technology -- possibly including nuclear -- between Iran and Seoul's rival neighbor, North Korea.

The United States maintains more than 28,000 military personnel in South Korea. American troops have been posted here since the Korean War of the early 1950's. The two Koreas technically remain at war as no peace treaty was signed.

Another item on Einhorn's agenda this week is discussions on revising a 1974 agreement between Seoul and Washington on nuclear energy. The accord, which expires in three years, currently prohibits South Korea from reprocessing spent nuclear fuel that could yield plutonium to make nuclear weapons.

Einhorn is among several U.S. government officials visiting Seoul in the next few days for foreign policy discussions.

The new special representative for North Korean policy, Glyn Davies, is also to hold talks. He is expected to be joined by the top U.S. nuclear negotiator on North Korea, Clifford Hart. Hart's predecessor, Sung Kim, recently became the U.S. Ambassador to South Korea.

Also due to arrive in Seoul is the deputy assistant defense secretary for East Asia, Derek Mitchell. He is also a special envoy for Burma.

In wake of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's historic visit to Burma last week, Mitchell is expected to ask for South Korea's help to pressure Burmese officials to cut any remaining questionable relationships with North Korea.

U.S. officials say, among the conditions for America's relationship with Burma to improve is the Southeast Asian country coming clean about cooperation with Pyongyang on missile and nuclear development.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated 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