News / Asia

US N. Korea Envoy in Asia Amid Push to Revive Nuclear Talks

FILE - U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Policy Glyn Davies (C), Sept. 12, 2013.
FILE - U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Policy Glyn Davies (C), Sept. 12, 2013.
William Ide
The United States special envoy to North Korea travels to Asia this week as regional powers step up efforts to restart talks on ending Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programs. Glyn Davies, the U.S. Special Representative for North Korea arrives in China Tuesday and will later make stops in Seoul and Tokyo. But it is the envoy’s stop in China that is going to be watched closely for any signs of a breakthrough.

When Glyn Davies arrives in Beijing Tuesday it will be the second time he has met with China’s top negotiator, Wu Dawei, in the short space of less than a month.

Wu has been traveling between Pyongyang and Washington in recent weeks.  Japan, South Korea and the United States have also held trilateral talks in Washington.

The U.S. State Department was hesitant to make any predictions about the talks when Davies’ travel plans were released last week, but did add that “every discussion is an opportunity.”

North Korea analysts in China agree.

“It’s very difficult to tell what exactly will come out of Glyn Davies' visit this time. But the fact that Davies is coming shows that both China and the United States are working very closely to bring North Korea back to the diplomatic track,” said Wang Dong, a political scientist at Peking University.

North Korea pulled out of the six party-talks in 2009 and has called for their resumption with no preconditions. Washington says North Korea needs to show it is serious about abandoning its pursuit of nuclear weapons before the United States will resume negotiations.

For its part, China has been stepping up its efforts in recent months to let the North know how serious it is about sanctions and getting back to the negotiating table. 

In September, China released a list of banned export items to North Korea to make sure that United Nations sanctions were being tightly enforced following a North Korean nuclear test earlier this year.

The list was released amid reported concerns that North Korea might be accelerating its nuclear weapons programs.  At the same time, however, North Korea has been accelerating its efforts to boost economic engagement as well, particularly with China.

China is North Korea’s biggest trading partner and Beijing is keen to get Pyongyang to adopt more economic openness. Analysts say the hope is that such advances would gradually shake the North of its nuclear ambitions.

Lu Chao, a specialist on the Korean peninsula at Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences, says China’s influence, however, is limited.

Lu says that ultimately North Korea will decide whether it opens up or not. He says China wants to see more businessmen going there to invest, but from the North’s perspective it seems that Pyongyang will not open up too quickly or broadly to reform. Adding that it is still a military first regime.

Wang Dong says what the international community needs is a peaceful development strategy for North Korea to help it move beyond its insecurities and ideological constraints that keep it from developing its economy.

“North Korea has to understand the logic that they cannot eat the cake and have it too. I think this is very important. They say they want economic construction and they say they also want nuclear capability, but they have to understand there are trade-offs between the two,” said Wang Dong.

Earlier this fall, the North proposed a freeze of its nuclear and long-range ballistic missile tests in exchange for the restart of talks. The offer, while viewed by the U.S. government as a positive step, has failed to gain any traction. Pyongyang has made similar promises in the past, only to go back on them.

The U.S. State Department says that after his stop in Beijing, Davies will visit Seoul on Friday and Saturday and spend two more days in Tokyo before concluding his trip.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

Secret Service Head to be Questioned Over White House Intruder

Julia Pierson will be questioned about the latest break-in well as several other embarrassing incidents involving the agency 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.
Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenyai
X
Gabe Joselow
September 29, 2014 6:20 PM
Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Video

Video Reconstruction? What Reconstruction? Life After War in Gaza

It’s been a month since Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a ceasefire to end 52 days of an air and tank war that left 60,000 homes in Gaza damaged or destroyed and 110,000 homeless. Sharon Behn reports that lack of reconstruction is leading to despair.
Video

Video US, Saudi Arabia and UAE Hit Islamic State's Oil Revenue

The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have bombed oil facilities operated by Islamic State militants in Syria. It was a truly collaborative effort, with the two Arab countries dropping the majority of the bombs. The 12 refineries targeted were estimated to generate as much as $2 million per day for the terrorist group. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has the story.
Video

Video Russia's Food Sanctions Raise Price Worries, Hopes for Domestic Production

Russia retaliated against Western sanctions imposed for its actions in Ukraine by halting food imports from the West. The temporary import ban on food from Australia, the European Union, Norway and North America has Russian consumers concerned that they could face a sharp increase in food prices. But in an ironic twist, the restrictions aimed at the Kremlin have made Russia's domestic food producers hopeful this can boost their business. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid