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

US Firms Concerned About China's New Cyber Regulations

New rules would require technology companies doing business in financial sector to hand over their source code, adopt Chinese encryption algorithms More

WHO Focus on Ebola Shifts to Ending Outbreak

Focus to be less on building facilities and more on efforts to find infected people, manage their cases, engage with communities and ensure proper burials More

US Scientist Who Conceived of Groundbreaking Laser Technology Dies

Charles Townes, Nobel laureate, laser co-creator paved way for other scientific discoveries: CDs, eye surgery, metal cutters to name a few technologies that rely on lasers 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.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid