News / Asia

US Not Ruling Out More Talks with North Korea

U.S. special envoy to North Korea Glyn Davies, center right, and South Korea's nuclear envoy Lim Sung-nam, center left, listen to reporters question after their meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Seoul, South Korea, December 8, 2011.
U.S. special envoy to North Korea Glyn Davies, center right, and South Korea's nuclear envoy Lim Sung-nam, center left, listen to reporters question after their meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Seoul, South Korea, December 8, 2011.

Amid indications of continuing behind-the-scenes contacts with Pyongyang,, separately by Seoul and Washington, diplomats of both South Korea and the United States are comparing notes.

The U.S. special representative for North Korea policy, Glyn Davies, is in South Korea. He is accompanied by Clifford Hart, the envoy who would be the chief representative for Washington if six-nation talks with North Korea resume.

Davies and Hart met Thursday with South Korea's foreign minister, unification minister and its national security adviser.

The Americans, next week, are to hold talks about North Korea with Japanese and Chinese officials, respectively in Tokyo and Beijing.

The discussions center on trying to forge agreement among the two Koreas, the United States, China, Japan and Russia to resume the long-stalled six-nation talks on Pyongyang's nuclear weapons development. The formal talks are aimed at getting North Korea to give up its nuclear programs in exchange for substantial aid and improved diplomatic ties.

While the two countries have no diplomatic relations, Davies says communication between the U.S. government and North Korean diplomats, at Pyongyang's U.N. mission in New York, continue about a possible third round of exploratory talks.
"Those contacts with the North Koreans continue," he said. "I hope, at some point, in the not too distant future we will have an opportunity to get back to the table with them. But quite frankly we are not interested in talks for talk's sake."

The U.S. diplomat adds that North Korea needs to indicate it is prepared to take concrete steps - such as observing previous commitments and halting its uranium enrichment program - before Washington and Seoul can recommend a resumption of the six-nation discussions.

Davies also says Washington has told Pyongyang it encourages further North-South direct dialogue.

Seoul and Pyongyang have also held two rounds of meetings this year to see if there is common ground on the nuclear talks. And, there are fresh reports of additional and recent secret - but apparently futile talks - between the two Koreas, centering on humanitarian issues.

North Korean officials have said the nuclear talks must resume without pre-conditions. Frustration among North Korean government officials appears
to be growing.

An official of a North Korean-affiliated organization, with close contacts to the authorities in Pyongyang, recently told VOA, if the six-party talks have not resumed by the middle of next year, North Korea's military would feel compelled to "do something."

Analysts say North Korea has a history of instigating military and other provocations when its leadership has perceived diplomacy is not making progress. Past incidents have included two North Korean nuclear weapons tests, as well as ballistic or other missile launches.

But two American academics at Stanford University, Robert Carlin and John Lewis, say Chinese officials have told them Pyongyang has promised Beijing not to make fresh trouble in the short term. In exchange, according to a column by the academics in Thursday's Los Angeles Times, the Chinese have agreed to closer ties with North Korea, such as providing more economic help for the impoverished North Korean economy.

Meanwhile, there is growing concern about how close North Korea is to having a missile that can carry a nuclear weapon and strike other countries, not only South Korea and Japan, but as far away as the United States.

South Korea's point man on the nuclear issue, Ambassador Lim Sung-nam, standing alongside Davies on Thursday, expressed his government's concern.

Lim says Pyongyang's ballistic missile development is clearly a significant regional threat. However, he says he cannot comment on what Seoul and Washington know about the matter because it is sensitive intelligence information.

Three weeks ago, five Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives' Armed Services Committee sent a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta  expressing concern about "new intelligence" on long-range ballistic missile development by foreign nations, notably North Korea.

The Washington Times, on Monday, reported the new intelligence is based on a classified intelligence briefing last month to members of Congress which mentioned progress North Korea is making with a road mobile inter-continental ballistic missile  platform.

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead 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.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid