Clinton lays down working criteria for DPRK
Updated: 2012-05-05 07:34
By Cheng Guangjin (China Daily)
Secretary of State: Country has opportunity to change track
The United States is willing to work with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea if it changes its ways, said US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday.
"The new leadership in Pyongyang still has the opportunity to change course and put their people first," said Clinton, according to Reuters.
Clinton made the remarks on the second day of the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Beijing.
"We recognize the role China has played so far, and we hope we can continue to work together to make it clear to North Korea that strength and security will come from prioritizing people, not provocation," she said, according to the Associated Press.
China and the US have reached a consensus for benign interaction in the region, said Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Cui Tiankai at a joint news conference at the conclusion of the two-day dialogue.
In 2011, the two countries set up a bilateral consultation mechanism for the region, and the fourth round of talks will be held this year.
The US has never really taken its hands off the Asia-Pacific region, said Cui.
"We respect the US' reasonable concerns and interests in this region and welcome it to play a constructive role," he said, adding that China "hopes the US respects China's major concerns and interests".
The DPRK launched a Kwangmyongsong-3 observation satellite on April 13 to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of its founder Kim Il-sung, but it crashed into the sea after traveling only a short distance.
On Thursday, Pyongyang said no one can prevent it from exploring outer space and more satellites will be launched, according to Xinhua News Agency.
The United Nations' nuclear chief said on Friday that he would not be surprised if the DPRK were to carry out a new nuclear test, amid speculation that the country is preparing to conduct its third since 2006, according to Reuters.
"We don't have inspectors on the ground. We are following the situation carefully. We do not have particular knowledge or information, but if a nuclear test took place, I would not be surprised," said Yukiya Amano, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, at a conference in the Swiss town of St. Gallen.
The five permanent members of the UN Security Council urged Pyongyang on Thursday to refrain from any new nuclear tests.
The Security Council has decided to impose sanctions on three companies in the DPRK, Susan Rice, the US permanent representative to the UN, announced on Wednesday.
Pyongyang has long argued that in the face of a hostile US, which has military bases in the Republic of Korea and Japan, it needs a nuclear arsenal to defend itself, according to Reuters.
Clinton also requested that China urge Iran to prove its nuclear program is peaceful, and to help end the fighting in Syria and the two Sudans, said the Associated Press.
"Each of these crises represents a shared challenge to global security, and each provides an opportunity for us to work together more closely to advance our common interests in peace and stability," AP quoted Clinton as saying.
Also on Friday, under the framework of the strategic dialogue, Zhong Jianhua, the Chinese government's special representative on African affairs, held in-depth talks on the situation between Sudan and South Sudan with the US Special Envoy for Sudan, Princeton Lyman, according to a statement on the foreign ministry's website, without elaborating on the content of the talks.
Clinton welcomed China's interest in resolving the conflict between Sudan and the world's newest nation, South Sudan. They have been engaged in hostilities over borders and oil during recent months, sparking fears of a full-scale war, according to AP.
"Together we need to keep sending a strong message to the government of Sudan that it must immediately and unconditionally halt all cross-border attacks, particularly its provocative aerial bombardments," she said.
Li Xiaokun contributed to this story.