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

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces a Chaotic World and the Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt 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.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid