Clinton reaches out to North Korea

US secretary of state says relations could be normalised ahead of Asia visit.

    The US remains concerned about North
    Korea's nuclear programme [AFP]

    Six party talks between North and South Korea, China, Japan, Russia and the US aimed at restricting North Korea's atomic programmes in exchange for economic and diplomatic incentives began in August 2003 but stalled in December 2008.

    Rights concerns

    Clinton, who will visit Japan, Indonesia, South Korea and China on her visit to Asia, also said that she wished  to work with China despite US concerns about its human rights record.

    "It is in our interest to work harder to build on areas of common concern and shared opportunities," she said.

    Later this month, she added, the United States and China would resume military talks that Beijing suspended last year following US arms sales to Taiwan.

    Clinton said she would be using her Asia trip to press improved human rights in China, Tibet, North Korea and Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.

    "We will hold ourselves and others accountable as we work to expand human rights
    and create a world that respects those rights," she said.

    "[This includes a world] where Nobel Prize-winner Aung San Suu Kyi can live freely in her own country, Where the people of North Korea can freely choose their own leaders, and where Tibetans and all Chinese people can enjoy religious freedom without fear of prosecution," she said.

    Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar's opposition leader has been held under house arrest for more than a decade by the nation's military government despite her party winning national elections in 1990.

    Clinton also vowed to help combat the global economic crisis and push for more human rights in Asia on the eve of her first trip to the continent as secretary of state.

    Clinton warned that the economic crisis "threatens the Pacific as much as any other region".

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Assassinating Kim Jong-un could go so wrong

    Assassinating Kim Jong-un could go so wrong

    The many ways in which the assassination of the North Korean leader could lead to a total disaster.

    Lebanon has a racism problem

    Lebanon has a racism problem

    The problem of racism in Lebanon goes beyond xenophobic attitudes towards Syrian and Palestinian refugees.

    The life and death of Salman Rushdie, gentleman author

    The life and death of Salman Rushdie, gentleman author

    The man we call 'Salman Rushdie' today is not the brilliant author of the Satanic Verses, but a Picassoesque imposter.