News / Asia

US, South Korean Diplomats Discuss Power Shift in North

US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell, right, speaks to the media after meeting with South Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Jae-shin, left, in Seoul, 7 Oct. 2010.
US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell, right, speaks to the media after meeting with South Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Jae-shin, left, in Seoul, 7 Oct. 2010.

A top-ranking U.S. diplomat says Washington and Seoul need to "remain in lockstep" to respond to any developments on the Korean peninsula. Kurt Campbell's meetings with South Korean officials come as Pyongyang shows signs that preparations for a power transfer are under way.

Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell repeated the U.S. position that Pyongyang needs to improve relations with Seoul before international talks about dismantling North Korea's nuclear weapons programs can resume.

"The first step, as we've said, has to be re-engagement between North Korea and South Korea,
Campbell said. "I think we're also looking for a clear and demonstrable commitment on the part of the North Koreans to fulfill their commitments that they have made on denuclearization in 2005."

North Korea has recently suggested several levels of talks with South Korea.

Campbell spoke Thursday following talks with South Korean diplomats that he says focused on last week's party congress in North Korea. The rare conference gave powerful posts to Kim Jong Un, the youngest son of absolute leader Kim Jong Il. The posts apparently are to prepare him to succeed his father.

Official North Korean media Thursday reported the younger Kim attended a concert with his father. It is the second reported public appearance this week for the young man, who until recently was almost never seen.

South Korea's Unification Minister says the move toward a power succession in Pyongyang adds to uncertainties about what is happening in North Korea.

Earlier this week, a South Korean presidential security advisor termed the nuclear threat from the North to be at an "alarming level."

Recent satellite photos suggest North Korea may be preparing to restore some operations at its Yongbyon nuclear complex.

The reactor, which produced weapons-grade plutonium, was shuttered three years ago under an international agreement. North Korea has since renounced the deal and threatened to resume operations. Last year, the reclusive impoverished country said its uranium enrichment experiments were in the final stages. Enriched uranium is used for weapons.

There have been on and off negotiations, involving both Koreas, China, the United States, Japan and Russia, since 2003 concerning the North's nuclear weapons programs.

The two Koreas remain technically at war since their civil war halted in 1953 without a peace treaty.

Relations between the two governments have been tense for more than a year. They worsened further in late March when a South Korean naval vessel exploded and sank. An international investigation blamed a North Korean torpedo. Pyongyang denies any responsibility and rejects Seoul's repeated demand it apologize for the sinking as a prelude to improving ties.

You May Like

Video Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Arkansas, North Carolina have approved similar laws that gay-marriage opponents say help maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals 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.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
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.

VOA Blogs

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