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

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid