During her tour in Asia, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke out about North Korea’s recent threats against South Korea. She urged North Korea to continue nuclear talks and to refrain “from any and all provocative actions that could harm the six party talks and aggravate tensions in the region.”
Some analysts believe that North Korea’s recent actions are an attempt to capture the attention of the new Obama administration and to improve its future bargaining position. However, Clinton warned that, “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 also stated that the most pressing issue right now is to secure an end to North Korea’s nuclear program. Clinton stressed that if Pyongyang were to end its program, the U.S. is ready to offer diplomatic relations, aid, and a peace treaty.
In contrast, during a local press conference, Clinton praised South Korea, declaring that the country’s “achievement of democracy and prosperity stands in stark contrast to the tyranny and poverty across the border to the North.” She also commended South Korea for its calm restraint in light of the current situation.
In addition, Clinton announced her choice of Stephen Bosworth, a former U.S. ambassador, as her new special envoy for nuclear talks with North Korea.