News / Asia

US to Step Up Talks With Regional Allies After N. Korea Execution

South Korean army soldiers stand guard at a military checkpoint near the border village of Panmunjom, which has separated the two Koreas since the Korean War, in Paju, South Korea, Dec. 13, 2103.
South Korean army soldiers stand guard at a military checkpoint near the border village of Panmunjom, which has separated the two Koreas since the Korean War, in Paju, South Korea, Dec. 13, 2103.
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
The United States says it is stepping up talks with Asian allies following North Korea's execution of leader Kim Jong Un's once influential uncle.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said Friday that "stability on the Korean peninsula is very important" to the United States and that Washington will "increase our discussions with our allies and partners in the region about the internal situation in North Korea."

The uncle, Jang Song Thaek, was former vice chairman of the National Defense Commission, headed by Kim. The young leader's uncle was also seen as Kim's mentor and closest aide.

North Korea's official media reported that he was charged with a list of unpardonable crimes and promptly executed Thursday.

Regional news reports said Friday that Jang's execution could signal instability in the communist country and Kim's fear of his uncle's influence. Some observers say that Jang's execution may signal unrest in North Korea and that Pyongyang could react with external provocations.

South Korean officials said the government is on alert for any unusual move in the North. But Seoul's Unification Ministry said there would be no immediate change of policy toward the northern neighbor.

Yonhap news agency reported Friday that representatives of the two Koreas will meet next week to discuss upgrading their joint industrial park in the North Korean border city of Kaesong.

North Korea's closest ally and aid donor China called Jang's execution North Korea's internal affair. Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters Friday that Beijing will continue to advance business cooperation with Pyongyang.

Jang played a key role in cementing the leadership of the inexperienced Kim after the death of his father Kim Jong-Il in 2011, but analysts say his power and influence had begun to worry Kim.

Professor Toshimitsu Shigemura of Waseda University in Japan said Kim may continue with the purge.

"Jang-Thaek might be dead, but his followers are still around. Now they are what the regime fears the most. They have to get rid of them quickly if they want to avoid a rebellion, because they still have some influence. And now, everyone is aware that someone tried to rebel. The regime's power base is now unstable."

Harf denounced the execution as an "incredibly brutal act" and said it "underscores the horrific human rights record of the North Korean regime."

Pyongyang is under international sanctions for conducting illegal nuclear weapons tests. The United States and China have worked on getting Pyongyang to adhere to its international obligations.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid