News / Asia

US, China Agree on N. Korea Sanctions

U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke, center, is mobbed by journalists as he attends the opening session of the annual National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Mar. 5, 2013. U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke, center, is mobbed by journalists as he attends the opening session of the annual National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Mar. 5, 2013.
x
U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke, center, is mobbed by journalists as he attends the opening session of the annual National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Mar. 5, 2013.
U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke, center, is mobbed by journalists as he attends the opening session of the annual National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Mar. 5, 2013.
VOA News
U.N. diplomats say the United States and China have reached a tentative deal on new sanctions to punish North Korea for its latest nuclear test, as Pyongyang threatened to disregard the armistice that ended its 1950 to 1953 war with South Korea.

The United Nations Security Council holds closed-door consultations on North Korea Tuesday and diplomats told reporters they hope for a vote on the proposed resolution by the end of the week.  Details of the draft measure were not immediately available.

The Security Council already unanimously condemned the February 12 nuclear test as a "grave violation" of existing U.N. sanctions on North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.  Pyongyang said the test - its third and most powerful yet - was aimed at its "arch-enemy," the United States.

Meanwhile, North Korea stepped up its rhetoric Tuesday, threatening to scrap the armistice signed in 1953 if Seoul goes ahead with plans to conduct annual war exercises with the United States.  The Korean People's Army Supreme Command warned of "surgical strikes" meant to unify the divided Korean Peninsula.

The North has issued similar - though less belligerent - threats before, also timed to coincide with the annual joint U.S.-South Korean naval exercises.

A separate report said Pyongyang has also decided to halt the work of its delegates at Panmunjom, an abandoned village along the de facto border where Seoul and Pyongyang meet for negotiations.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday he would like to see North Korean leader Kim Jong-un "take responsible actions for peace."  Kerry said the U.S. will continue to do what is necessary to defend itself and the region but that "our preference is not to brandish threats but to get the table" and negotiate.

The international community has already issued a swift and immediate response to Pyongyang's latest nuclear test.

China, North Korea's long-time ally, joined the rest of the 15-member Security Council in immediately condemning the test.  But diplomats say China has been reluctant to agree to tough action against Pyongyang.

A spokesperson for China's foreign ministry said Tuesday that Beijing would support a "proper and moderate" response from the Security Council, insisting that any action be "conducive to denuclearization, non-proliferation and peace and stability on the peninsula."

Diplomats from Washington and Beijing have for weeks been in talks aimed at expanding or adding a fourth round of sanctions against the impoverished Communist state.  Speaking anonymously, several diplomats have said both sides are nearing a deal.

North Korea is already under tough sanctions as a result of its previous nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009. In January, the Security Council expanded those sanctions in response to a December rocket launch.

The North says its latest tests prove that it can strike the mainland U.S. with a long-range missile. It has angrily rejected the U.N sanctions, and threatened to carry out more missile and nuclear tests in response to what it says is U.S. hostility.

South Korea and North Korea have been in a technical state of war for more than 60 years.  The agreement that ended the 1950 to 1953 civil war hostilities was only a truce.

About 28,500 American troops are stationed across the border in South Korea, and the two sides regularly conduct military drills. The latest were to begin on March 1st with a month-long series of air, ground and naval exercises known as Foal Eagle.  Separately, a two-week, computer-based simulation called Key Resolve, is set to begin on March 11th.

The allies' say the exercises are designed to enhance the security and readiness of South Korea and insists they are deterrent in nature.  The North sees the drills as preparation to invade its territory.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid