News / Asia

US: No Reward for North Korean for 'Bad Behavior'

South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan, left, poses with US special envoy for North Korea Stephen Bosworth during their meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Seoul 22 Nov. 2010.
South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan, left, poses with US special envoy for North Korea Stephen Bosworth during their meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Seoul 22 Nov. 2010.

The United States said Monday that North Korea will derive no benefit from world powers for the apparent uranium enrichment program it revealed to an American scientist earlier this month.  The Obama administration is consulting with parties to the stalled North Korea nuclear talks over the development.  

Officials here say U.S. concern about North Korean uranium enrichment dates back years, and that Pyongyang will not be able to use what appears to be an advanced enrichment plant to extract new international concessions.

American nuclear scientist Siegfried Hecker said late last week that on a visit to North Korea this month, he was "stunned" to be shown an enrichment facility that he was told had more than 1,000 centrifuges and was fully operational.

The development prompted the Obama administration to send North Korea envoy Stephen Bosworth to Asia on an urgent round of consultations.

But State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley called the revelation to Hecker a "publicity stunt," saying there was no crisis in efforts to persuade North Korea to disarm, and that Pyongyang will not be able turn the gambit into negotiating capital.

"This reinforces our long-standing concern about North Korea's uranium enrichment activities," said P.J. Crowley. "We will not be drawn into rewarding North Korea for bad behavior.  They frequently anticipate doing something outrageous or provocative and forcing us to jump through hoops as a result.  We're not going to buy into this cycle."

North Korea agreed in principle in 2005 to give up its nuclear program in return for economic and political benefits from world powers.  But the Chinese-sponsored six-party negotiations have been stalled for two years.

Pyongyang has a small arsenal of nuclear weapons derived from plutonium from its Yongbyon reactor complex.

A uranium enrichment program could allow North Korea to build additional bombs.  But Crowley said the "brief glimpse" of the facility given to Hecker does not necessarily mean that Pyongyang has mastered the technology.

"We're going to take our time, work through the information that's available to us," he said. "Certainly this doesn't surprise us.  Going back many years, to 2002 and beyond that, we've had strong suspicions of a clandestine enrichment capability, or North Korea's pursuit of that capability.  We will review the implications of this information, and then chart a way forward with our partners."

Under a joint framework accord with the United States, North Korea pledged in 1994 to freeze its nuclear program in return for two civilian nuclear power plants.

But the United States scuttled the deal after Pyongyang officials told a visiting U.S. envoy in 2002 that they had a secret enrichment program.  North Korea later disavowed the statement.

North Korean officials told scientist Siegfried Hecker that the facility they showed him this month was to provide fuel for a civilian power plant they have under construction.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates and other senior U.S. officials say they doubt Pyongyang's expressions of peaceful intent.  They say their main concern is that North Korea might export weapons technology.

U.S. envoy Bosworth is expected to return to the United States on Wednesday, after consultations in Seoul, Tokyo and Beijing.  

You May Like

Video Positive Messaging Helps Revamp Ethiopia's Image

In country once connected with war, poverty, famine, headlines now focus on fast-growing economy, diplomatic reputation More

Russian Activist Thinks Kremlin Ordered Nemtsov's Death

Alexei Navalny says comments of Russian liberals who think government wasn't involved are 'nonsense.' More

Video Land Disputes Rise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers 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.
Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Imagei
X
Marthe van der Wolf
March 03, 2015 9:03 PM
Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More