News

    US Lawmakers Call for Tougher Approach to North Korea

    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un delivers a speech during a mass military parade in Kim Il Sung Square, April 15, 2012.
    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un delivers a speech during a mass military parade in Kim Il Sung Square, April 15, 2012.
    Cindy Saine

    A U.S. congressional panel has held a hearing called "North Korea After Kim Jong Il: Still Dangerous and Erratic." The hearing on U.S. policy towards North Korea coincides with Pyongyang's announcement that it will no longer abide by an agreement to halt testing of nuclear devices and long-range missiles after Washington canceled food aid.  

    House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida says the Obama administration has fallen into the same failed pattern of negotiations with North Korea, followed by betrayal by Pyongyang, that the Bush and Clinton administrations had also pursued in vain. She says the new North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, seems to be following in his late father Kim Jong Il's footsteps, in responding to an outstretched hand by provoking the world with last Friday's failed rocket launch.

    "North Korea's rhetoric should have told our negotiators all they needed to know," said Ros-Lehtinen. "The 'military first' policy of starving the people to feed the army and supply the munitions industry remains.  The South Korean Defense Ministry estimated this month that the North Koreans spent $850 million on the failed missile launch - enough to buy corn to feed the entire population for an entire year."

    The lawmakers and experts present at the hearing agreed that North Korea has shown that it is indeed still dangerous and erratic.  Michael Green of the Center for Strategic and International Studies says he believes we may see a North Korean nuclear test in the future.

    "So the North is clearly heading towards a nuclear weapons capability, deliverable through ballistic missiles or through country transfer, and our efforts to date have slowed but hardly deterred them from that path," said Green.

    Scott Snyder of the Council on Foreign Relations says the United States has long made negotiations the cornerstone of its North Korea policy, and he believes this is a mistake.

    "There is no deep harm in talking to North Korea, we can learn a lot, it is an important aspect of our diplomacy," said Snyder. "But I think the National Security Council meetings on North Korea should begin with pressure, coercion, interdiction, implementation of sanctions, and then at the end consider where the diplomatic and engagement piece fits in, and I think we have had it backwards for some time."

    In response to last week's failed rocket launch, the United States canceled its offer to provide tons of food assistance to North Korea.  Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher of California says he believes Washington should not be doing this in the first place, because the North Korean government prevents the food aid from actually being distributed to North Korean citizens in many parts of the country.

    "When did the United States assume the responsibility for the nutrition of the North Korean people?  I mean, this is, again, this is a looney [crazy] policy on our side," said Rohrabacher.

    The expert witnesses at the hearing said they do not feel that it is a good idea to link nuclear negotiations with North Korea to food aid for the country's starving population, but agreed that Pyongyang should agree to let international relief agencies distribute the food.

    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.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora