News / Asia

US-North Korean Diplomats to Resume Nuclear Talks

U.S. Forces Korea commander General James D. Thurman speaking at East Asia Institute conference, October 21, 2011
U.S. Forces Korea commander General James D. Thurman speaking at East Asia Institute conference, October 21, 2011

U.S. and North Korean diplomats are set to meet next week in Geneva to discuss North Korea's controversial nuclear program.  Pyongyang wants full six-party talks to resume.  But South Korea says the North must first clearly indicate it intends to abandon its nuclear program.

Speaking at an East Asia Institute conference in Seoul, South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan said Pyongyang must abide by previous promises to denuclearize before any new round of six-party talks can resume. "Seoul and Washington will keep urging North Korea to demonstrate through specific actions that it has true intentions to abandon its nuclear programs,” Kim stated.

The six-way talks include both Koreas, the United States, China, Japan and Russia. China has been pushing for their quick resumption. But the U.S., South Korea and Japan have been more cautious, saying North Korea must first implement actions it agreed to take in previous negotiations.  

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il told Russia's Itar-Tass news agency last week six-way talks should resume without preconditions. He also reaffirmed his commitment six years ago to gradually reduce North Korea's nuclear programs in exchange for massive aid, enhanced diplomatic relations and security guarantees.

But since the talks were last held in December, 2008, North Korea tested a second nuclear weapon, test-fired more missiles and announced its capability to enrich weapons-grade uranium.

Pyongyang is also accused of two military attacks that killed 50 South Koreans, most of them military personnel.

U.S. Army General James Thurman, who recently assumed command of American forces in South Korea, expressed in his first public speech increasing concern about Pyongyang's development of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles. “I believe North Korea’s growing asymmetric capabilities increasingly threaten peninsular and regional stability,” he said.

U.S. officials are set to meet early next week in Geneva with North Korean government representatives for a rare, second-round of direct talks about Pyongyang's nuclear programs.

Other diplomatic discussions about North Korea are also taking place next week.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, who previously headed the CIA, holds talks in Tokyo and Seoul.

And China's vice premier, Li Keqiang, is to visit Pyongyang and Seoul.

You May Like

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country 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.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid