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

800-Pound Man Determined to Slim Down

Man says he was kicked out of hospital for ordering pizza; wants to be an actor More

Australia Prepares to Resettle 12,000 Syrian Refugees

Preference will be given to refugees from persecuted minorities, and the first group is expected to arrive before late December More

S. African Miners Seek Class Action Suit Against Gold Mines

The estimated 100,000 say say they contracted the lung diseases silicosis and tuberculosis in the mines More

This forum has been closed.
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.
Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemeni
Henry Ridgwell
October 12, 2015 4:03 PM
The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemen

The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video No Resolution in Sight to US House Speaker Drama

Uncertainty grips the U.S. Congress, where no consensus replacement has emerged to succeed Republican House Speaker John Boehner after his surprise resignation announcement. Half of Congress is effectively leaderless weeks before America risks defaulting on its national debt and enduring another partial government shutdown.

Video New Art Exhibit Focuses on Hope

Out of struggle and despair often comes hope. That idea is behind a new art exhibit at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. "The Big Hope Show" features 25 artists, some of whom overcame trauma and loss. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy as US Holiday

The second Monday of October is Columbus Day in the United States, honoring explorer Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the Americas. The achievement is a source of pride for many, but for some the holiday is marked by controversy. Adrianna Zhang has more.

Video Anger Simmers as Turks Begin to Bury Blast Victims

The Turkish army carried out new air strikes on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets on Sunday, a day after the banned group announced a unilateral cease fire. The air raids apparently are in retaliation for the Saturday bombing in Turkey's capital Ankara that killed at least 95 people and wounded more than 200 others. But as Zlatica Hoke reports, there are suspicions that Islamic State is involved.

Video Bombings a Sign of Turkey’s Deep Troubles

Turkey has begun a three-day period of mourning following Saturday’s bomb attacks in the capital, Ankara, that killed nearly 100 people. With contentious parliamentary elections three weeks away, the attacks highlight the challenges Turkey is facing as it struggles with ethnic friction, an ongoing migrant crisis, and growing tensions with Russia. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Afghanistan’s Progress Aided by US Academic Center

Recent combat in Afghanistan has shifted world attention back to the central Asian nation’s continuing civil war and economic challenges. But, while there are many vexing problems facing Afghanistan’s government and people, a group of academics in Omaha, Nebraska has kept a strong faith in the nation’s future through programs to improve education. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Omaha, Nebraska.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video In 'He Named Me Malala,' Guggenheim Finds Normal in Extraordinary

Davis Guggenheim’s documentary "He Named Me Malala" offers a probing look into the life of 18-year-old Malala Yousafsai, the Pakistani teenager who, in 2012, was shot in the head by the Taliban for standing up for her right to education in her hometown in Pakistan's Swat Valley. Guggenheim shows how, since then, Malala has become a symbol not as a victim of brutal violence, but as an advocate for girls’ education throughout the world. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.

Video Paintable Solar Cells May Someday Replace Silicon-Based Panels

Solar panels today are still factory-manufactured, with the use of some highly toxic substances such as cadmium chloride. But a researcher at St. Mary’s College, Maryland, says we are close to being able to create solar panels by painting them on a suitable surface, using nontoxic solutions. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs