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

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy 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.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid