News / Asia

US Asks South Korea to Join with Additional Sanctions Against Iran

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

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches 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.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid