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.
TEXT SIZE - +

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

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

Open Source Seeds Hit the Market, Raise Awareness

First open source seeds include 29 new varieties of broccoli, celery, kale, quinoa and other vegetables and grains 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