John Kerry has no plan to talk with North Korean First Minister in Malaysia

WASHINGTON, Aug. 4 (Yonhap) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has no plans to meet one-on-one with his counterpart from North Korea on the sidelines of a regional security conference set for this week in Malaysia, the State Department said Tuesday.

Kerry arrived in Kuala Lumpur earlier Tuesday to attend a series of annual meetings hosted by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), including Asia’s biggest annual security gathering, known as the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF).

ARF is one of the rare international gatherings that North Korea has regularly attended and brings together the top diplomats from 27 countries, including all countries involved in the six-party talks aimed at ending the North’s nuclear program.

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Su-yong arrived in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday.

In Washington, State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner dismissed the possibility of Kerry meeting one-on-one with Ri.

“He will be having many bilateral meetings. Obviously, he left Singapore earlier today. He’s now in Kuala Lumpur,”

Toner said at a regular press briefing. “I don’t have anything to confirm, but I can imagine he’ll be trying to meet with as many of his counterparts as he possibly can.”

Asked if there is any possibility of Kerry meeting with the North’s Ri, however, the spokesperson said, “I don’t believe so.”

Last month’s breakthrough deal on Iran’s nuclear program briefly raised hope Washington would be able to pay more attention to the North Korean nuclear issue, but such hopes were quickly dashed as both Washington and Pyongyang stuck to their existing positions.

U.S. officials have urged Pyongyang to learn from Tehran and negotiate away its nuclear programs, demanding that the North first take action demonstrating its denuclearization commitments. The North, on the other hand, has said it is not interested in an Iranian-style nuclear deal.

The six-party talks aimed at resolving the North Korean impasse have been idled since late 2008.

While the six-party talks have been on hold, the North has bolstered its nuclear capabilities and stockpile, conducting its second and third nuclear tests in 2009 and 2013. Some experts now warn that the communist nation’s nuclear arsenal could expand to up to 100 bombs by 2020.


Yonhap News agency


John Kerry says Korea DPR’s isolation will deepen if Pyongyang refuses denuclearization

Area controlled by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea shown in green

Area controlled by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea shown in green

BEIJING, May 16 (Yonhap) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Saturday that North Korea’s economic and diplomatic isolation will further deepen if Pyongyang continues to refuse to abandon its nuclear weapons ambition.

Kerry, speaking at a joint news conference with Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi in Beijing, said Washington and Beijing agreed to continue to work together to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear ambition.

Kerry said North Korea’s nuclear issue is one of the “most complex” security challenges, comparing it with the Ebola virus and Afghanistan.

North Korea, which has conducted three nuclear tests, claimed that it has recently successfully test-launched a ballistic missile from a submarine. If confirmed, it would pose a major security threat to South Korea.

Asked about North Korea’s reported submarine-based missile launch, Kerry replied that the North’s “destabilizing behaviors are unacceptable.”

Kerry said China has “unique leverage” to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear ambitions and both Washington and Beijing are committed to the “denuclearization of North Korea.”




The Korea Herald

John Kerry será el primer jefe de la diplomacia de EEUU en visitar Cuba en 60 años

John Kerry dijo HOY en un comunicado que su subsecretaria de Estado para Asuntos del Hemisferio Occidental, Roberta Jacobson, viajará a Cuba en enero para hablar sobre el reinicio de las relaciones diplomáticas…

El secretario de Estado de Estados Unidos, John Kerry, en foto de archivo.

El secretario de Estado John Kerry espera con beneplático ser el primer jefe de la diplomacia estadounidense en visitar Cuba en 60 años.

Kerry dijo HOY en un comunicado que su subsecretaria de Estado para Asuntos del Hemisferio Occidental, Roberta Jacobson, viajará a Cuba en enero para hablar sobre el reinicio de las relaciones diplomáticas, y para participar en la nueva ronda de conversaciones sobre el tema migratorio.

Kerry también comentó que la política de Estados Unidos hacia Cuba durante más de cinco décadas ha sido un fracaso, pues no ha promovido una Cuba democrática y próspera y ha aislado a Estados Unidos en vez de Cuba.

Por ese motivo, Estados Unidos anunció su intención de restablecer relaciones con Cuba.

Kerry agregó que cambiar la relación con Cuba requerirá tiempo, energía y recursos, y que el riesgo de cambiar de política es menor que el riesgo de quedarse estancado en un cemento ideológico.

Por otra parte, el Departamento del Tesoro dijo este miércoles que las sanciones financieras contra Cuba serán modificadas “en las próximas semanas” en respuesta a los anuncios del presidente de Estados Unidos, Barack Obama, sobre los cambios en las relaciones diplomáticas entre los dos países.

El Gobierno estadounidense dijo que los ciudadanos y las compañías de su país podrán aplicar para conseguir licencias para hacer negocios con cubanos que vivan fuera de la isla, y que le permitirá a la gente participar de conferencias relacionadas con Cuba fuera de la nación caribeña.

Estados Unidos también descongelará las cuentas bancarias en su territorio que pertenezcan a cubanos que ya no viven en la isla de Gobierno comunista, sostuvo por su parte la Casa Blanca.

 Martí Notí

John Kerry warns Korea DPR of ‘dead end’

WASHINGTON, Nov. 4 (Yonhap) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday he hopes to work closely with China to get North Korea to realize that it is on a path to “a dead end” and that giving up its nuclear program is the only path to security and prosperity.

Kerry made his remarks in a speech at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, stressing the importance of cooperation with China on nonproliferation, days before he visits Beijing for multilateral and bilateral meetings.

“Our cooperation also makes a difference when it comes to nuclear proliferation,” he said, adding that the U.S. is very encouraged by China’s “serious engagement” on negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program as a full partner in the “P-5 plus one” talks.

“And we’re very hopeful that, working more closely together, the United States and China will ultimately bring North Korea to the realization that its current approach is leading to a dead end, and the only path that will bring it security and prosperity is to make real progress towards denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula,” he said.

Kerry is scheduled to visit China Nov. 7-8 for a range of multilateral and bilateral meetings with officials from Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation member countries in advance of U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Beijing for the APEC leaders’ meeting.

Last week, Kerry praised China for putting in more serious efforts than last year to pressure North Korea over its nuclear program. Beijing reduced the amount of jet fuel going into the North and put limitations on trade going into the country, he said.

China is North Korea’s last remaining major ally and a key provider of food and fuel supplies. But it has been reluctant to use its influence for fears that pushing the regime too hard could result in instability in the North and hurt Chinese national interests.

Analysts say that China often increased pressure on the North in the past, too, especially when Pyongyang defied international appeals and carried out nuclear tests and other provocative acts, but China never went as far as to cause real pain to the North.

On Tuesday, North Korea accused Kerry of using the issue of human rights in an attempt to topple the communist regime, and vowed not to hold denuclearization or human rights talks with the U.S.

“It is self-evident that one party cannot discuss its unilateral disarming with the rival party keen to bring it down at any cost,” the North’s foreign ministry said. “The DPRK (North Korea) keeps the door of dialogue on genuine human rights open to the countries that respect its sovereignty but it will never allow any human rights dialogue or nuclear one with the enemy keen to overthrow it.”

North Korea has strongly protested efforts led by the European Union to adopt a U.N. General Assembly resolution calling for referring the communist nation to the International Criminal Court for human rights violations.

Pyongyang claims that the U.S. is behind the move.



Source : Yonhap

John Kerry to visit China for talks on North Korea, climate change

By Lee Chi-dong

File:John Kerry official Secretary of State portrait.jpg

SEOUL, Feb. 14 (Yonhap) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will head to Beijing Friday for discussions mainly on North Korea and climate change, wrapping up a two-day stay here.

He is apparently emboldened by a guarantee of close ties with South Korea on North Korea amid the communist nation’s peace offensive.

The secretary is scheduled to hold talks with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, later in the day.

The secretary is well aware of the importance of Beijing’s cooperation in dealing with Pyongyang.

“China has a unique and critical role that it can play due to its economic, its geographic, its political, and its historical, cultural ties with North Korea,” he said at joint press conference with Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se Thursday night.

He noted China, the last remaining major communist ally of the North, has taken some positive steps but there is still a way to go.

“Our belief is that China can do more now to urge North Korea to begin taking action to come into compliance with its international obligations,” Kerry added. “And I will encourage China to use all of the means at its disposal to do so.”

The U.S. hopes to revive the process of denuclearize North Korea. Washington is also eager to secure the release of Kenneth Bae, a Korean-American man held there for 15 months.

Another key agenda item in the Kerry-Wang meeting will be ways to deal with climate change, according to Kerry’s aides.

It remains unclear whether the talks will end on entirely amicable terms.

The U.S. has long struggled to cooperate with China in efforts to resolve its longstanding territorial disputes with Japan and some Southeast Asian nations.

On Saturday, Kerry plans to fly to Jakarta, Indonesia.

Yonhap News Agency is the only Korean news outlet traveling with the secretary on his special plane.


Source : Yonhap News Agency

South Korea, United States to coordinate more closely on North Korea uncertainty

South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se (left) and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry hold a news conference at the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C., Tuesday. (AFP-Yonhap News)

The foreign ministers of South Korea and the U.S. on Wednesday agreed to intensify policy coordination to better cope with the growing uncertainty in North Korea in the aftermath of the execution of its leader’s uncle.

During their talks in Washington, Yun Byung-se and John Kerry concurred on the need for more systematic and frequent discussions at various levels focusing on North Korea conditions, which would progress to involve China and other neighbors later on.

“We decided to intensify our consultations to assess the North Korean situation and explore our policy options,” Yun told a news conference after the meeting.

“These efforts will ensure that our two countries remain very much on the same page in dealing with the uncertain North Korean situation. In the event of any North Korean provocation, South Korea and the United States will firmly respond based on our robust combined defense posture.”

The two top diplomats also recognized the growing uncertainty in Northeast Asia, Yun said, taking a swipe at Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s worship at the Yasukuni Shrine which triggered condemnation from Seoul and Beijing.

“In particular, I pointed out that historical issues stand in the way of reconciliation and cooperation in this region, and I emphasized the need for sincere actions. The secretary and I agreed to strengthen our efforts to alleviate tension and promote peace and cooperation in Northeast Asia,” Yun added.

Kerry noted that the allies remain aligned in their resolve not to accept Pyongyang as a nuclear state, calling on it to abide by its previous denuclearization pledges and international resolutions.

“The United States and the Republic of Korea stand very firmly united, without an inch of daylight between us ― not a sliver of daylight ― on the subject of opposition to North Korea’s destabilizing nuclear and ballistic missile programs and proliferation activities. And the international community stands with us,” he said.

The two countries have been “more actively consulting than ever” since the Dec. 12 execution of Jang Song-thaek, leader Kim Jong-un’s uncle who was once considered the communist state’s second-in-command, a top Seoul official said.

The decision for intensified coordination reflects Washington’s anxiety about the stability of the regime and its direction going forward, the official said, citing Kerry’s recent media interview in which he said the execution attested to the nature of the “ruthless, horrendous dictatorship and of his insecurities.”

“While the six-party talks are aimed at denuclearizing the North, what we’re trying to do is to look in depth into its uncertainty given the new circumstances. It would not work as a separate consultation body but we are seeking more frequent, intensive coordination,” the official told reporters on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.

“There was a consensus that at some point later on, the bilateral consultations could include China and become a five-way dialogue (also involving Japan and Russia).”

Though any sudden change in Pyongyang has been a perennial concern on the peninsula, a recent string of moves and remarks by Seoul and Washington officials has been rekindling speculation over the stability and durability of the Kim dynasty.

On Monday, President Park Geun-hye called for preparations for reunification, which she called a “jackpot” that would bring the Korean economy to new heights.
During his three-day stay, Yun also met with U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and other former and incumbent officials from the administration, Congress and think tanks, including Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell and Robert Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Yun is scheduled to return to Seoul on Thursday.

By Shin Hyon-hee (


Powers urge Korea DPR to end nuclear programs

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Brunei ― China, the U.S, South Korea and Japan on Monday urged North Korea to relinquish its nuclear programs and return to dialogue for substantive progress.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said he reaffirmed the four countries’ commitment to a nuclear-free Korea with his counterparts, urging Pyongyang to meet its obligations specified in a 2005 agreement.

He met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi shortly after arriving here for the ASEAN Regional Forum in Brunei and then held a trilateral consultation with the top South Korean and Japanese diplomats, Yun Byung-se and Kishida Fumio.

“All four of us are absolutely united and absolutely firm in our insistence that the future with respect to North Korea must include denuclearization,” Kerry told a news conference later in the day.

Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se (right), U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Japanese Foreign Minister Kishida Fumio pose before their talks in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam, Monday. (Yonhap News)

“China made it clear to me that they have made very firm statements and very firm steps they have taken with respect of the implementation of that policy.”

After separate talks with North Korean Foreign Minister Pak Ui-chun earlier in the day, Wang once again called for a restart of the six-nation denuclearization forum also involving Russia.

“Of course China is striving for the goal of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and this is our unchanged stance,” he told reporters shortly after the meeting.

“The six-party talks are vital for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. China is hoping that each of the concerned countries set out to form conditions so that the peninsula issue will return to the orbit of resolution through dialogue.”

China has in recent months been piling pressure on its intractable ally to do away with saber-rattling and nuclear ambitions and come back to the negotiating table.

During their first summit last week, President Park Geun-hye and her Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping agreed that Pyongyang’s atomic development “threatens peace and stability” in the region and the denuclearization of the peninsula is in their “common interests.”

Xi and U.S. President Barack Obama also vowed not to accept North Korea as a nuclear-armed state at a meeting last month in California.

After a two-month salvo of nuclear threats, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un began displaying his desire to reengage in dialogue during his two envoys’ recent trips to Beijing.

During the three-way dialogue, Yun said South Korea, the U.S. and China have in recent months converged on their stances toward the North Korea nuclear issue.

“Facing pressure from the international community, North Korea is shifting its game plan from brinkmanship to charm offensive through which to undermine coordination between the members of the six-party talks,” he said.

Yet South Korea and the U.S deem a fresh round of six-party talks as premature yet, demanding preemptive, irreversible steps toward denuclearization.

Their chief nuclear negotiators gathered in Washington late last month and agreed on the need for stronger obligations on the North than those stipulated in its Feb. 29, 2012, agreement with the U.S. before any resumption of talks.

Under the so-called Leap Day Deal, Pyongyang agreed to put a moratorium on its nuclear enrichment program, stop atomic and missile tests and let in IAEA inspectors in exchange for 240,000 tons of food assistance.

“I’ve figured out that China has a clear position toward (North Korea’s) denuclearization,” a top government official said, citing the summit joint statement and the latest U.N. Security Council sanctions resolution.

“But there are various ways to go about it. China is the host of the six-party talks and has a viewpoint that’s not the same as ours on the North Korean issue so that it would want to resolve it through dialogue and if possible sooner than later.”

By Shin Hyon-hee, Korea Herald correspondent