News / Asia

US Envoys Seek Progress on North Korea

Senior U.S. diplomats have been consulting with South Korea and Russia regarding North Korea's nuclear program.

U.S. diplomat Kurt Campbell held brief meetings Wednesday morning at the presidential Blue House and the foreign ministry in Seoul.

The discussions came as the point man on U.S. policy for North Korea, Glyn Davies, met Russian officials in Moscow.

The diplomacy concerns the possibility for resuming the long-stalled six-nation talks on North Korea's nuclear activities.

South Korea's prime minister, Kim Hwang-sik, addressing a Korea Society event in Seoul Tuesday evening, predicted such diplomacy would progress if Pyongyang shows sincerity.

Kim expresses hope that discussions on de-nuclearizing North Korea will pave the way quickly for six-party talks to resume.  He says, to accomplish this, Seoul is closely cooperating with its neighbors and Washington.

The South Korean government's key official on the North is calling for Pyongyang “to make a choice.”  Unification Minister Yu Woo-ik, in a speech Wednesday to civil officials involved in providing aid to North Korea, called on Pyongyang to increase cooperation with its neighbors rather than engage in further provocations.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Campbell, during his visit here Tuesday and Wednesday, expressed Washington's openness to diplomacy if Pyongyang first engages with the South.

However, there is no overt sign a return to the six-nation dialogue is imminent. The talks were last held in 2008. They involve both Koreas, China, the United States, Japan and Russia.

A fresh complication is the new, young leader in Pyongyang, Kim Jong Un, appears to be focused on consolidating his power after the death, announced in December, of his father and long-time leader Kim Jong Il.

North Korea last year suggested it would consider suspending its uranium enrichment program in exchange for the United States supplying food aid.

In the meantime, such assistance appears to be coming from China. There is evidence hundreds of thousands of tons of rice were shipped across the land border into North Korea, last month.  And, a researcher at the Korea Rural Economic Institute in Seoul said on Wednesday a fresh analysis of trade data indicates China sent more than 125,000 tons of grain to its impoverished neighbor, in the last quarter of 2011.

Campbell, the top U.S. diplomat for East Asia, was asked by reporters Wednesday about the recent Chinese aid.

“We believe that they have taken steps to underscore their commitment to the transition in power in North Korea and those steps might include further provision of assistance given the circumstances in North Korea," he said. "Frankly, it's an evolving situation. We're watching it closely. We want to continue a close dialogue with China. We want them to share with us more their perspectives and their plans."

China is North Korea's sole remaining significant ally.

The two Koreas have no diplomatic relations and have technically been at war for more than six decades. Relations between Seoul and Pyongyang suffered a huge setback in 2010 when the North was accused of destroying a South Korean naval vessel and shelling a frontier island.

You May Like

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

Analysts say move by President Xi is an effort to win more party support, take step toward economic reforms, removing those who would stand in way of change More

South Africa Land Reforms Still Contentious 20 Years Later

Activists argue that the pace of land reform is slow and biased; legal experts question how some proposed reforms would be implemented More

In Vietnam, Religious Freedoms Violated, UN Finds

Beliefs reportedly prompt heavy surveillance, intimidation and travel restrictions 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.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid