News

US Urges China to Convince N. Korea to Scrap Missile Launch

South Korean Army soldiers watch a TV news program which shows North Korea's Unha-3 rocket at Seoul train station in Seoul, South Korea, April 9, 2012
South Korean Army soldiers watch a TV news program which shows North Korea's Unha-3 rocket at Seoul train station in Seoul, South Korea, April 9, 2012

The Obama administration is urging China to help convince North Korea to abandon its planned ballistic missile launch. There are new concerns that North Korea may also be planning another nuclear test.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the United States continues to urge all countries that may have influence on North Korea - most notably China - to use that influence to make clear that they also disapprove of the planned missile launch and believe it will further isolate Pyongyang.

As for Washington's message about the launch, Nuland said it is simple: Don't do it.

"North Korea's launch of a missile would be highly provocative. It would pose a threat to regional security," said Nuland. "And it will be inconsistent with its recent undertakings to refrain from any kind of long-range missile launches."

The most recent of those undertakings was a February agreement with the United States to resume nuclear inspections in exchange for food aid. That deal was broken by Pyongyang's announcement that it will launch a weather satellite in the next few days aboard an Unha-3 rocket.

South Korean intelligence photos, obtained by VOA, also show what appear to be preparations for a third North Korean nuclear test.

While she would not confirm that intelligence information, Nuland said another nuclear test "would be equally bad if not worse" than the missile launch.

North Korea says launching a weather satellite is a purely civilian operation. But Nuland says U.S. negotiators made clear that any ballistic missile use would be a deal breaker.

"They can't launch the thing without using ballistic missile technology, which is precluded by U.N. Security Council resolution 1874. So regardless of what they say about it, it's still a violation," Nuland said.

U.S. officials hoped for more from this first deal negotiated with North Korea's new president, Kim Jong Un, who took power following his father's death in December.

Victor Cha is the Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. While North Korea's new president is thought to be assisted by top generals and an uncle, Cha says it would be a mistake to conclude that this decision came from anyone but the president himself.

"The political culture of this place is such that any decision of national significance has always been taken by one person, and that is the direct descendant of the Kim Il Sung line," said Cha. "And so I think while he [may] have people around him who are helping him, in the end decisions are being made by this 28-year-old."

Cha says the decision to break the February deal must be seen in light of North Korea's long pursuit of nuclear weapons.

"Even though this may look like puzzling behavior, we have to think of it as part of a systematic program really that is decades-old to try to get to the point where they can deliver nuclear-tipped missiles anywhere in the world and basically try to achieve, in their own minds, the ultimate security umbrella," Cha added.

With North Korea's determination to press ahead with its nuclear program, Cha says the resumption of six-party talks to resolve the dispute appears a long way off. "I don't think we are going to see any sort of return to the negotiations any time soon," Cha said. "If anything, I think the situation could get worse from here."

Talks between North Korea, the United States, China, Russia, South Korea and Japan broke down in 2009, when Pyongyang expelled international inspectors before conducting its second nuclear test.

Stemming North Korea's nuclear ambitions will be part of talks in Washington Wednesday and Thursday, when U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hosts foreign ministers from the Group of Eight leading industrialized nations.

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.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs