News / Asia

US, South Korea, Japan Want Conciliatory Steps from Pyongyang Before New Talks

From left; Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan, gather at the start of their trilateral meeting in Washington, Dec. 6, 2010.
From left; Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan, gather at the start of their trilateral meeting in Washington, Dec. 6, 2010.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her South Korean and Japanese counterparts called for conciliatory steps by North Korea on Monday before six-party talks with Pyongyang can resume.  The three-way ministerial meeting in Washington followed last month's artillery attack by North Korea on a South Korean island.   

China has been pushing for an emergency meeting of the six-party talks as a means of easing tensions in the aftermath of the November 23 island shelling - the first North Korean attack on a South Korean civilian area since the Korean War armistice was signed in 1953.

Although welcoming the Chinese initiative, Clinton, South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan and Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara said there should be no diplomatic reward for North Korea's actions, and that Pyongyang must first improve the political climate.

Reading a statement at the close of the unusual trilateral meeting, Clinton said President Barack Obama made the same point hours earlier in a telephone call to Chinese President Hu Jintao.

"Last night, President Obama spoke with Chinese President Hu," said Hillary Clinton. "They reaffirmed the importance of a denuclearized Korean peninsula.  And we appreciate Beijing's initiative to propose an emergency six-party gathering.  However, we first need an appropriate basis for the resumption of talks.  Any effort must start, of course, with North Korea ceasing all provocative and belligerent behavior."

Clinton said North Korea must act to improve relations with South Korea, comply with international obligations and take concrete steps to implement the September 2005 joint statement of the six-party talks.

Pyongyang at the time agreed in principle to scrap its nuclear program in return for aid and diplomatic incentives from the other participants - South Korea, Japan, the United States, Russia and host China.

But the talks broke down in 2008, with the political atmosphere steadily deteriorating since then amid North Korean missile and nuclear tests, the sinking of a South Korean navy vessel in March, and the November 23 artillery barrage.

At a joint press conference with her South Korean and Japanese counterparts, Clinton said China - North Korea's main trading partner and aid provider - has a "vital role" to play in diplomacy with Pyongyang.

"They have a unique relationship with North Korea," she said. "And we would hope that China would work with us to send a clear unmistakable message to North Korea that they have to demonstrate a seriousness of purpose in ending their provocative actions.  There are many ways of doing that, and we will be focused on trying to work with our allies and our partners in the six-party talks to deliver that message."

A written joint statement reaffirmed U.S. defense commitments to South Korea and Japan as essential to maintaining peace and stability in northeast Asia.

Clinton said Navy Admiral Michael Mullen, the chairman of the U.S. military joint chiefs of staff, was leaving Washington late Monday for talks with security officials in Seoul and Tokyo.

She said a high-level U.S. diplomatic team will head to the region next week for follow-up talks to Monday's trilateral meeting.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Srebrenica Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs countermeasure at UN More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants 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.
Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prisoni
X
Heather Murdock
July 01, 2015 8:59 PM
As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs