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

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid