News / Asia

US Promises 'Measured, Unified' Response to North Korean Attack

Smoke billows from South Korea's Yeonpyeong island near the border with North Korea, 23 Nov 2010
Smoke billows from South Korea's Yeonpyeong island near the border with North Korea, 23 Nov 2010
TEXT SIZE - +

The United States on Tuesday called North Korea's artillery attack on a South Korean island earlier in the day "outrageous," but said there will be no precipitous response.  U.S. envoy for North Korea Stephen Bosworth is returning to Washington from Beijing after consultations with South Korean, Japanese and Chinese officials.

Officials here are not minimizing the seriousness of the artillery barrage, which came shortly after revelations of new North Korean nuclear activity.

But they say the Obama administration intends to move carefully and deliberately in the face of what the White House calls "belligerent action."

U.S. envoy for North Korea Stephen Bosworth, who was dispatched to the region earlier this week after Pyongyang revealed an apparent uranium enrichment plant, conferred with senior Chinese officials on the artillery attack.

Bosworth, who is due back in Washington on Wednesday, called the attack "aggression" and said the United States and China share the view that such conflict is "very undesirable."

State Department acting deputy spokesman Mark Toner said the artillery barrage that killed two South Korean soldiers and wounded several others, including civilians, was an unprovoked military assault.

He said the Obama administration plans a "measured and unified" response, working with China and other nations in the six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear program.

Toner did not rule out future engagement with North Korea.  But he said Pyongyang will not be rewarded for belligerency.

"North Korea's behavior has been very, very bad; provocative and belligerent.  And, again, we're not going to buy into that cycle of rewarding that kind of behavior.  We're in a spot now where we just feel that by working through the six-party process, by working with our partners, we're going to take a deliberate, slow approach to responding to this latest provocation," said Toner.

China, North Korea's main ally and aid provider, has had a muted response to the artillery attack and recent nuclear developments - refraining from condemning Pyongyang and calling for a resumption of the six-party talks it chairs.

That prompted criticism from U.S. analysts, including Asia expert Bruce Klingner of the Washington-based Heritage Foundation.  He said Chinese help to North Korea undercuts U.S. efforts to present a united front against Pyongyang's behavior.

"What China has to do is step up to the plate, abide by international agreements, international commitments," Klinger said. "And instead, what it's been doing is increasing its economic engagement with North Korea in an unconditional manner, which really undermines the effectiveness of the U.N. sanctions as well as the conditionality that's inherently part of the six-party negotiations."

In 2005, the six-party talks produced an agreement in principle by which North Korea would give up its nuclear program in return for aid and diplomatic benefits.

But the talks have been stalled and were dealt another setback this week with reports that Pyongyang is building a new light-water reactor, and that it has secretly built a uranium enrichment plant.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had a closed-door meeting here Tuesday with American nuclear scientist Siegfried Hecker, who revealed late last week that on a recent trip to North Korea, he was shown an enrichment facility.

Such a plant would give North Korea an alternate way to expand what is believed to be a small arsenal of plutonium-based nuclear weapons and potentially export nuclear technology.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid