News / Asia

North Korea Offers Direct Talks with US

US Open to North Korea Talks, But Wants Action on Nuclear Fronti
X
June 18, 2013 10:26 AM
The United States says it is open to North Korea's offer of direct talks, but only after Pyongyang takes concrete action to end its nuclear weapons program. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.
The United States says it is open to North Korea's offer of direct talks, but only after Pyongyang takes concrete action to end its nuclear weapons program.

North Korea says it is offering direct talks to ease tensions on the Korean peninsula. The United States says North Korea must first meet its international obligations to end its nuclear program.

"North Korea must engage in authentic and credible negotiations that produce concrete denuclearization actions. So is it different than that? No. We haven't seen evidence of that, and that is what we are waiting for," said U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

North Korea says there should be no conditions. While it is willing to discuss disarmament, Pyongyang says there also should be talk of broader denuclearization, including in South Korea.

South Korean Unification Minister Ryoo Kihl-jae says the move shows North Korea is eager to open talks with Washington.

"I think North Korea needed the word denuclearization to make the United States come to the negotiation table. I think the North was saying it has been their stance for a long time," he said.

American Enterprise Institute analyst Michael Auslin says denuclearization talks are a waste of time.

"Let's recognize North Korea as a nuclear power. They are a nuclear power. They are not going backwards. They are only going to get better," he said. "One day they are going to have more weapons. They are going to be more sophisticated about it. And what do we do now? We are defying reality if we pretend that they are something they are not."

Given the differences, South Korea's Unification Minister doubts there will be talks.

"I think it is almost impossible to have talks between North Korea and the United States. South Korea and the U.S. are closely exchanging views," he said.

U.S. President Barack Obama is hoping that Chinese President Xi Jinping can help bring North Korea back to talks. Asia analyst Auslin says if Beijing wanted to help, it already would have.

"If it believed that its best interests were served by putting pressure on this regime [in North Korea], changing its behavior in ways that we believe it can, it would have done so. So I think we should actually take that off the table. I think we should forget about China," said Auslin.

Talks between North and South Korea broke down last week. This week, North Korean and Chinese officials are to meet in Beijing while U.S., Japanese and South Korean officials meet in Washington.

You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

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