News / Asia

US Official Spells Out Steps For N. Korea Overture

U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman with South Korean 1st Vice Foreign Minister Park Suk-hwan during their meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Seoul, South Korea, Nov. 22, 2011.
U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman with South Korean 1st Vice Foreign Minister Park Suk-hwan during their meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Seoul, South Korea, Nov. 22, 2011.

A senior U.S. diplomat visiting South Korea says Washington's new outreach to Burma does not mean it is ready to do the same for North Korea. Last week, President Obama announced that he will soon dispatch Secretary of State Hilary Clinton to the southeast Asian country. In Seoul, U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman spoke to reporters on the steps Pyongyang must take for a similar diplomatic outreach.

Sherman says Burma has taken enough steps toward opening its political system to warrant a visit by Secretary Clinton.  Those include freeing some political prisoners, loosening media controls and holding talks with pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy political party.

When asked whether North Korea could expect a similar gesture to improve relations, Sherman said Pyongyang still must take more steps on its own.

"Where North Korea is concerned they still have many steps to take, to see Secretary Clinton come to that country. They could begin by meeting the commitments they have already made," she said.

In 2005, Pyongyang agreed to end its nuclear weapons program in exchange for aid and diplomatic relations. But in 2009, it walked away from negotiations with South Korea, the U.S., China, Japan and Russia. Last year, the North revealed that it is also enriching uranium. Pyongyang now says it wants the talks to resume.

But Sherman says Washington and Seoul have made it very clear what North Korea needs to do to re-open dialogue. She says it is up to the North to make the next move.

"They have not yet made all of the commitments they need to, including ending their uranium enrichment program and until they met their commitments of the 2005 communiqué, we will have to wait and see what they are going to do in order for there to be a resumption of the six party talks," she said.

Sherman says, if North Korea shows that it is serious about ending its nuclear weapons program, then anything - including a visit by Secretary Clinton - is possible. But she says there is still a long way to go.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches 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.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid