News / Asia

US: North Korea Must Change Behavior Before Six Party Talks Can Resume

New Mexico State Governor Bill Richardson of the US (left) is welcomed by an unidentified North Korean official upon his arrival at Pyongyang Airport, Dec 16, 2010
New Mexico State Governor Bill Richardson of the US (left) is welcomed by an unidentified North Korean official upon his arrival at Pyongyang Airport, Dec 16, 2010

The White House says there will be no resumption of six-party talks with North Korea until Pyongyang stops "belligerent actions."  

Twice during Tuesday's White House news briefing, spokesman Robert Gibbs was asked about North Korea's offer, confirmed by former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson, to allow U.N. nuclear inspectors back to the country.

Richardson, who is governor of of New Mexico, and also a former U.S. congressman, has visited North Korea several times, serving as an unofficial intermediary.

Saying he had no update on any North Korean offer to Richardson, Gibbs said Pyongyang knows what it needs to do to make it possible for the six-party talks to resume, namely to transform its rhetoric into action. "They are aware of what they need to do, and commitments to do so are not what we are interested in.  We are interested in them living up to those obligations," he said.

Belligerent actions by North Korea, Gibbs said, provide the international community with no confidence that Pyongyang is "even remotely ready" to resume talks about its nuclear program.

Gibbs said the United States remains fully supportive of South Korea's actions, including its recent live fire military exercise that followed a North Korean artillery attack on a South Korean island.  He made clear where the Obama administration stands on resuming the six party talks. "We are not going to get a table in a room and have six party talks just for the feel good notion of having six party talks.  When and if the North Koreans are ever serious about living up to their obligations then we can think about re-starting six party talks," he said.

The strong White House statements came as former U.S. ambassador Richardson told reporters in Beijing that he believes North Korea realizes it has gone too far in defying the world. "I noticed a pragmatic attitude on their part, a more realistic attitude, a view perhaps that they had moved a little too far down the precipice, and that it was time to come back and pull back and start negotiations again," he said.

The White House has said there are no plans for Richardson to meet with President Obama about his just-completed visit to Pyongyang.  At the State Department, spokesman P.J. Crowley said it's possible Richardson could brief U.S. officials, though no meeting was scheduled.

Crowley had this response when asked whether the U.S. sees Richardson's visit to North Korea as useful. "We and others have had conversations with North Korea before.  The real question is what will North Korea do," he said.

In his statement to reporters in Beijing, Richardson said South Korea legitimately carried out its recent military exercise.  But he commended Seoul for its restraint, and Pyongyang for not retaliating.

Richardson said Pyongyang needs to act on the promises it made to him to defuse tension, including a pledge to allow U.N. nuclear inspectors back.

Pyongyang abandoned the multi-nation talks more than 18 months ago.  North Korea revealed to a visiting U.S. scientist that it has developed an advanced uranium enrichment facility at Yongbyon.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants 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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs