News / Asia

    US Calls for North Korean Restraint

    Kurt Campbell, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, top center, speaks to the media after meeting with South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan in Seoul, South Korea, January 5, 2012.
    Kurt Campbell, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, top center, speaks to the media after meeting with South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan in Seoul, South Korea, January 5, 2012.

    Just weeks after North Korea announced the death of its leader, Kim Jong Il, diplomatic activity has resumed on how to engage Pyongyang. A high-level American diplomat is holding talks this week in Beijing, Seoul and Tokyo. And, South Korea's president is set to discuss North Korea during a state visit to China's capital next week.

    Diplomats in Seoul acknowledge there is a dearth of information about what is really going on in Pyongyang, amid the leadership transition.

    During this time of uncertainty, Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell says all elements of the U.S. government, including the military and national security advisors, are on the same page and in constant touch with Washington's allies in the region.

    "We are continuously monitoring the situation, regularly sharing perspectives and assessments, consulting closely and actively coordinating our responses," said Campbell.

    The United States is hoping China, considered the country most able to exert any influence on Pyongyang, will make clear to the new North Korean leadership what Campbell calls "the importance of restraint.”

    Among those Campbell met with Thursday was South Korean Foreign Minister, Kim Sung-hwan.

    Kim told reporters that Seoul is ready to resume one-on-one talks with Pyongyang, but it is up to North Korea to initiate such talks.

    However, Kim says it is unclear after Kim Jong Il's death who is actually running North Korea. He notes that Kim Jong Un, the third son of the deceased leader, has been bestowed a number of titles, such as supreme commander of the military and vice chairman of the country's only political party. But, the South Korean foreign minister adds it is not known whether Kim - who is under 30 years of age - is now also the actual head of government.

    North Korea has given no early indication it is ready to re-engage with the South after announcing Kim Jong Il's death last month.

    Recent comments in the state-controlled newspapers have declared Pyongyang will never again deal with the administration of South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, ostensibly because - according to North Korea's media - he did not properly express condolences for its leader's demise.

    But on Thursday, South Korea's foreign minister brushed off such rhetoric and said it should be ignored. He says North Korea does not seem to have decided yet on its posture in dealing with the outside world.

    You May Like

    California Republicans Mull Choices in Presidential Race

    Ted Cruz tells state's Republican Convention delegates campaign will be 'battle on the ground, district by district by district,' ahead of June 7 primary

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, many Kurds are trying to escape turmoil by focusing on success of football team Amedspor

    South African Company Designs Unique Solar Cooker

    Two-man team of solar power technologists introduces Sol4, hot plate that heats up so fast it’s like cooking with gas or electricity

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora