Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

US media reacts to ebola scare

Read more

DEBATE

How to Stop Ebola: Center for Disease Control Confirms First Case of Virus in US (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

How to Stop Ebola: Center for Disease Control Confirms First Case of Virus in US

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

I will support Hillary Clinton, will.i.am tells France 24

Read more

FOCUS

Germany: Spread of radical Islam propaganda sparks concerns

Read more

ENCORE!

Corrie Nielsen: Up and Coming Talent at Paris Fashion Week

Read more

FACE-OFF

French Senate election: A new blow for Hollande

Read more

ENCORE!

Encore's Film Show: Julie Gayet, Denzel Washington, and cartoon madness

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Turkey's strategy towards the Islamic State group

Read more

Asia-pacific

Clinton renews US offer of nomal ties for denuclearisation

Video by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-02-17

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has renewed her offer of normalisation of ties and a peace treaty if North Korea abandons its nuclear intentions. She said Pyongyang's intention to test a long-range missile would be "unhelpful".

AFP - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday the United States is committed to ridding North Korea of nuclear weapons and warned against any missile launch by Pyongyang.
   
At the formal start of her Asia tour in Japan, Clinton renewed a US offer for normal ties and a peace treaty with North Korea if it verifiably and completely eliminates its nuclear weapons programme.
   
"Let me underscore the commitment the United States has to the denuclearisation of North Korea and to the prevention of further proliferation," she told a news conference.
   
"This is a matter of great concern. We discussed it at great length today," she said after talks with Japanese Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone.
   
Under a landmark deal in 2007 with the United States, China, South Korea, Japan and Russia, North Korea agreed to end its weapons-grade nuclear programme in exchange for energy aid.
   
But progress in the six-party talks stalled late last year when North Korea, which tested an atomic bomb in 2006, baulked at demands for inspections and other steps to verify disarmament.
   
"If North Korea abides by the obligations it has already entered into and verifiably and completely eliminates its nuclear programme, then there will be a reciprocal response," she said.
   
As laid out in the six-nation deal, the United States would offer "a chance to normalise relations," Clinton said, as well as a full peace treaty with the North, which has often said it needs nuclear weapons to deter a US attack.
   
The 1950-1953 Korean conflict ended only with an armistice.
   
Touching on one of the most emotive issues for Japan, Clinton said she would press Pyongyang to account for the fate of Japanese citizens kidnapped to train North Korean spies in language skills, adding she would meet with their families later Tuesday.
   
Japan has refused to provide aid to North Korea under the denuclearisation deal until it provides answers about the abductions. It expressed concern at Washington's decision last October to remove Pyongyang from a terrorism blacklist before the kidnap issue is resolved.
   
Japan says it has confirmed the abduction of 17 of its citizens by Pyongyang in the 1970s and 1980s.
   
The North in 2002 admitted to 13 abductions, allowing five of them to return to Japan and saying the others had died.
   
Speaking at the press conference, Nakasone said Japan believed the new US administration of President Barack Obama would not change its North Korea policy "in any serious way."
   
Clinton meanwhile warned that a missile launch North Korea has hinted it is planning "would be very unhelpful in moving our relationship forward."
   
The isolated Stalinist country on Monday fuelled speculation that it is preparing to test a long-range missile, signalling that it will go ahead with a rocket launch as part of a "space development" programme.
   
Pyongyang has previously tested missiles under the guise of launching a satellite. Analysts said the latest comments indicated North Korea was on the verge of a launch.
   
Clinton said "the possible missile launch that North Korea is talking about would be very unhelpful in moving our relationship forward."
 

Date created : 2009-02-17

COMMENT(S)