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

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment 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.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
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 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 Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
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.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid