News / Asia

US Urges North Korea to End Regional Threats

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers a speech to U.S. foreign service workers at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo during a 'Meet & Greet' gathering, Apr. 15, 2013.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers a speech to U.S. foreign service workers at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo during a 'Meet & Greet' gathering, Apr. 15, 2013.
Daniel Schearf
United States Secretary of State John Kerry has urged North Korea to stop threatening the region's peace and prosperity and end its nuclear missile program.  During a speech in Tokyo the top U.S. diplomat said region-wide cooperation is needed in Asia, and that includes trying to build a partnership with North Korea. 

At the end of his first trip to the Asia-Pacific as Secretary of State, John Kerry said it was increasingly clear that what happens here matters more than ever before.

In a speech at the Tokyo University of Technology, Kerry said the region was home to enormous opportunities but also challenges.  

He said they needed to work together to ensure strong, fair, smart, and just growth.

"The presence of the United States in the Asia-Pacific and our network of alliances with Japan and South Korea, Australia, the Philippines and Thailand.  These have already formed a fundamental platform," said Kerry. "But, many challenges remain.  And, the most immediate among them, as we all know, is North Korea."

North Korea in December defied international warnings by launching a rocket.

It then responded to punitive United Nations sanctions by testing its third nuclear device and declaring the armistice that ended Korean War fighting null and void.

Pyongyang has since threatened to attack the United States, Japan, and South Korea.  It views annual U.S.-South Korea military exercises as preparation for an invasion.

Kerry's speech Monday came at the end of four days of meetings with leaders in Beijing, Seoul, and Tokyo that focused on North Korea's provocations. 

"One thing is certain - we are united.  There can be no confusion on this point," stated Kerry.  "The North's dangerous nuclear missile program threatens not only North Korea's neighbors but it threatens its own people and it threatens this concept of the Pacific Dream.  The United States remains open to authentic and credible negotiations on denuclearization but the burden is on Pyongyang."  

North Korea dismissed an offer by Seoul on Saturday for dialogue.

Kerry on Sunday offered to negotiate with Pyongyang if it took steps to abandon its nuclear weapons program.

In the U.S. Secretary's speech Monday he offered another incentive for diplomacy.

"All of our partners, all of them, have a role to play in supporting regional peace and prosperity.  And, that includes trying ultimately to make a partner out of North Korea and make it a part of this vision," Kerry said.

Washington is rebalancing its diplomatic and military outreach towards the Asia-Pacific in recognition of the region's increasing economic and strategic importance to the United States. Authorities in Beijing have been wary of the effort, with some viewing it as a strategy that seeks to contain China.

Kerry said China's role in regional stability and growth is critical.

"The United States and the world benefit from a stable and prosperous China that assumes the responsibilities of a great power, a China that respects the will of its people, a China that plays a key role in world affairs but that also plays by the rules.  We all have a stake in China's success just as China has a stake in ours," he said.

Kerry repeated commitments to defend Japan and welcomed its plan to enter the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement on global trade.

He said as the world's biggest consumers of energy and biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, Pacific nations, including the U.S., have the responsibility to address climate change.

"I cannot emphasize it enough, this is not a choice.  This is something we have to do together because climate change grows more and more serious and threatening and challenging by the day.  And, it is one of the most obvious, shared challenges on the face of this planet," Kerry explained.

Kerry told the students climate change was not a local problem and noted calls for clean air on the streets of Beijing and drought affecting farmers from Indonesia to India to Indiana.

He also noted "exploding investments" by Chinese companies in cleaner and alternative energies.

The top U.S. diplomat praised a jump in Chinese energy investments in the U.S. from $1 million 10 years ago to $9 billion last year.

You May Like

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Robert Ezergailis from: Canada
April 16, 2013 8:03 AM
The United States keeps acting diplomatically as though it does not really recognize and accept North Korea. Certainly it does not choose to show the same respect and recognition to the DPRK as it typically does to most other nations. That has remained a habitual condition since the armistice 60 years ago, with the continued intent appearing to be to make North Korea surrender, and submit to dictated change. That the DPRK reacts as it does in the light of that continued perception is no real suprise. It is entirely predictable.

One need only psyhoanalyze the DPRK to really understand that. Countries are similar to human beings as individuals. They have personalities and personality disorders of various types. It is also not at all that the United States is healthy, as a country, and the DPRK is sick. Each is sick in its own ways, and has its own personality disorders, irrational obsessions, fixations, and is equally capable of violent outbursts endangering world peace. However, skirting around the DPRK in a diplomatic whirlwind, failing to engage at the senior diplomatic level, in real face to face dialogue about grievances, cannot prove helpful in terms of assuring peace. Neither can snubbing the DPRK, and meeting with every other leader, but the leadership of the DPRK. That too creates anger, distrust and leads to violence.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs