Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

'New York Post' slammed for publishing ISIS execution images

Read more

DEBATE

Back to Square One?

Read more

DEBATE

Israel-Gaza: Back to Square One?

Read more

DEBATE

Israel-Gaza conflict: 72-hour ceasefire deal sets stage for Cairo talks

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users divided over Darren Wilson

Read more

FOCUS

Spain's El Hierro to become world's first self-powered island

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

A bellwether for what not to do

Read more

ENCORE!

Luc Besson back in action with Scarlett Johansson in 'Lucy'

Read more

FOCUS

Israel's minorities and military service

Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

  • Brutal IS beheading video sparks social media pushback

    Read more

  • French village rallies behind besieged elderly British couple

    Read more

  • Netanyahu compares Hamas to IS, Gaza offensive to continue

    Read more

  • France’s ex-PM Juppé sets up presidential clash with Sarkozy

    Read more

  • France’s Hollande says global security ‘worst since 2001’

    Read more

  • France urges Iran, others in region, to join fight against IS

    Read more

  • A new view on Normandy landings, 70 years on

    Read more

  • Video: Dozens arrested despite smaller protests in Ferguson

    Read more

  • Dozens killed as landslides strike Japan’s Hiroshima

    Read more

  • Suspected Ebola cases in Austria, new drug raises hopes

    Read more

  • WWII anniversary highlights best - and worst - of Paris police

    Read more

  • Headscarf at the beach sparks French MEP’s fury

    Read more

  • Video: Life in under-siege Donetsk

    Read more

  • Racism, riots and police violence: USA under scrutiny

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Clinton wants disarmament talks with N.Korea

Video by Rachel MARUSAK

Latest update : 2009-02-20

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met in Seoul with dignitaries such as Foreign Minister Yu Myung-Hwan for talks on reviving stalled negotiations on nuclear disarmament with North Korea.

AFP - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned North Korea on Friday to stop its provocative acts, saying its "war of words" with the South would not help it forge a new relationship with Washington.
   
Clinton, who suggested the North's bellicose rhetoric stems from a possible power struggle, told reporters in Seoul that any threatened missile launch by the communist state would be in breach of UN resolutions.
   
On her first foreign trip as the chief US diplomat, she also named Stephen Bosworth to oversee Washington's North Korea policy -- a new high-level post designed to press Pyongyang on nuclear disarmament and human rights.
   
Speaking in a tougher tone than usual after talking with her South Korean counterpart Yu Myung-Hwan, Clinton urged the North to live up to commitments under a six-nation pact and dismantle its nuclear weapons programme.
   
She said the development of democracy and prosperity in South Korea was "in stark contrast to the tyranny and poverty across the border to the North."
   
She praised Seoul's resolve and determination "in face of the provocative and unhelpful statements and actions by the North."
   
"North Korea is not going to get a different relationship with the United States while insulting and refusing dialogue with the Republic of Korea," she said, using the official name for the South.
   
Analysts suspect Pyongyang is taking a tougher stance as it competes for US President Barack Obama's attention with other world hot spots.
   
"We are calling on the government of North Korea to refrain from being provocative and unhelpful in a war of words that it has been engaged in, because that is not very fruitful," Clinton added.
   
She has been unusually candid on her trip here in suggesting the North is playing hard amid a possible struggle to succeed leader Kim Jong-Il, who is widely believed to have suffered a stroke last August.
   
"When you are thinking about the future dealings with a government that doesn't have a clear succession... there is something there to think about," she said.
   
"But we are dealing with the government that exists right now. That government is being asked to re-engage with the six-party talks to fulfill the obligations they agreed to. We expect them to do so."
   
Clinton reportedly said Washington has no plans yet for top-level contact with North Korea, despite Obama's stated willingness to talk to US enemies on certain conditions.
   
"I have no intention or plan (to meet Kim)," Yonhap news agency quoted her telling local media later.
   
"It is not something we are even contemplating."
   
North Korea carried out its first nuclear test in October 2006. It later agreed to disable its atomic programme in return for energy aid and diplomatic concessions.
   
However the six-nation talks, which group the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States, have been stalled since December amid arguments over how to verify denuclearisation.
   
Tensions on the Korean peninsula have risen sharply in the past year, with Pyongyang taking an increasingly belligerent stance toward the conservative government in Seoul.
   
It is angry with South Korea's President Lee Myung-Bak, who has rolled back his predecessors' policy of largely unconditional aid and engagement with the North.
   
North Korea has cancelled all peace accords with the South, including one recognising the sea border as an interim frontier.
   
Seoul warned Friday that it would target North Korean launch sites if its ships came under missile attack in the Yellow Sea, a day after the North said an armed clash could break out at any time.
   
It has also warned that Pyongyang is preparing to test its longest-range missile, the Taepodong-2 -- theoretically capable of reaching Alaska.
   
Clinton started her day with a briefing from General Walter Sharp, the US military commander in South Korea.
   
At a lunch with President Lee, she described the two countries' decades-old military alliance as "unshakeable," according to Lee's spokesman.
   
Lee told her it was possible the North would give up its nuclear ambitions if other nations continue to press it through the six-party talks.

Date created : 2009-02-20

COMMENT(S)