Quotes: MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Kerry seeks to ease tensions in Asia  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Arab News - 14/02/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN -Arab News) SEOUL, South Korea: US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Asia on Thursday on a mission aimed largely at easing tensions between China and its smaller neighbors over territorial disputes and exploring ways to restart long-stalled talks on ridding North Korea of nuclear weapons

On his fifth trip to Asia as America’s top diplomat, Kerry will be visiting South Korea, China and Indonesia, where officials traveling with him said he will be making the case for reducing regional acrimony over competing claims in the East and South China seas. At his first stop in Seoul, Kerry will also be expressing deep concern about a recent spike in tensions between US allies South Korea and Japan, the officials said. Japan is not on Kerry’s itinerary but Kerry made the same point with Japan’s foreign minister last week in Washington, the officials noted

Tensions between Seoul and Tokyo “serve nobody’s interests,” one senior official told reporters aboard Kerry’s plane. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the issues publicly

South Korea was angry over a recent visit by Japan’s prime minister to a controversial war shrine in Tokyo, which has deepened resentment in both of the neighboring countries over Japan’s colonial past and abuses committed during World War II. Japan says it is willing to hold high-level dialogue to ease tension, but there appears to be little immediate prospect of that happening

Kerry arrived in Seoul a day after senior North and South Korean officials held their highest-level talks in years, but as the North continues to complain about upcoming US-South Korean military exercises. North Korea has cited those exercises as a reason to rescind an invitation to a US diplomat to visit the country to discuss the case of jailed American missionary Kenneth Bae and suggested that they may cancel planned upcoming reunions between families separated by the Korean War

From South Korea, Kerry will be seeking details of the inter-Korean talks, their thoughts on how to improve relations with Japan and ways to accelerate cooperation between Washington, Beijing, Seoul and Tokyo on bringing North Korea back to the nuclear negotiating table, the officials said

Kerry will bring a similar message on North Korea to senior Chinese officials when he visits Beijing on Friday, the officials said. The goal, the US officials said, is to get China to use its influence with its ally North Korea to turn the word “denuclearization” from a noun to a verb. The officials said Kerry wants to make a resumption in the so-called six-party talks on North Korea a priority but stressed that Pyongyang’s interest in that remains unclear, particularly in the wake of a recent purge in the North’s top leadership

But to get back to talks, the officials said North Korea would have to be ready to make significant concessions

“The days are long gone when the international community will take North Korea’s IOU,” one official said

Of potentially greater immediate concern, Kerry will implore Chinese authorities to end and roll back a series of increasingly assertive steps in the East and South China seas, the officials said

“It is unwise in the extreme for China to take actions that are destructive of stability on the region,” said one official traveling with Kerry

US diplomats have cited a litany of actions that China has taken recently that affect what they say is American national interest in freedom of navigation and maritime safety in the resource-rich waters of the South China Sea that are dotted with reefs and islands subject to multiple disputes involving China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan. Those have included restricting access to a contested reef and imposing fishing regulations in disputed waters. The US has also warned China that it should not declare an Air Defense Identification Zone, or ADIZ, over any part of the South China Sea

A declared Chinese ADIZ over contested areas in the East China Sea has already drawn harsh criticism from the US and its allies

The US has been urging China and the Association of South East Asian Nations to agree to a binding code of conduct for behavior in the South China Sea for years

China has been reluctant to negotiate with ASEAN as a whole, preferring to deal with nations bilaterally and has fiercely rejected US allegations that it is using vague territorial claims to gradually assert control over the disputed areas. On Saturday, China’s foreign ministry said in a statement that some US officials’ remarks were not constructive and opined that “playing up tensions” was not conducive to maintaining peace and stability

After Beijing, Kerry will raise the code of conduct issue again in Indonesia when he meets with the ASEAN secretary general at the bloc’s headquarters in Jakarta

Also, in Indonesia, Kerry plans to deliver a speech highlighting the importance of dealing with climate change, the officials said

Although some have criticized the administration for ignoring it’s touted “pivot to Asia,” officials pointed to The White House’s announcement that Obama would soon visit japan, South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines as Kerry visited the continent

After the Indonesia stop, Kerry will fly on to the United Arab Emirates before returning home.


 


Arab News




  MENA News Headlines
 Dec 25 2014 - Iraqi Prime Minister Heads to TurkeyQatar News Agency
(MENAFN - QNA) Iraqi prime minister Haider Abadi began Thursday morning a two-day official visit to Turkey. During the visit, Abadi will hold talks with Turkish officials on means of developing ...

 Dec 25 2014 - Turkey Condemns Deadly Explosion in BaghdadQatar News Agency
(MENAFN - QNA) Turkey has condemned an explosion in the Iraqi capital Baghdad that killed around 50 people on Wednesday. "We strongly condemn this reprehensible attack that targeted Iraq's ...

 Dec 25 2014 - Abraaj, Kellogg bidding war continues for Egypt's Bisco MisrMENAFN
(MENAFN) The bidding war between UAE's Abraaj and Kellogg Co, the world's largest breakfast cereal maker, continues to intensify to acquire the USD144 million worth Egyptian snack maker Bisco Misr as ...

 Dec 25 2014 - Qatar's beIN to buy USD820m stake in Turkish TVMENAFN
(MENAFN) Qatar's beIN Media Group, which runs beIN Sports, announced it has agreed to pay USD820 million for the acquisition of 53 percent of Turkish pay-TV giant Digiturk, Arabian Business ...

 Dec 25 2014 - Arab region to invest USD356b on power projectsMENAFN
(MENAFN) According to a new study by Kuwaiti-based Arab fund for economic and social development (AFESD), Arab states will need to pay nearly USD356 billion in investments for the construction of ...

 Dec 25 2014 - Summary of Local News ReleasedWednesday - 1-Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - QNA) - Trading volume of real estate last week December 14-17 was worth in excess of QR 567 million, the Real Estate Registration and Authentication Department at the Ministry of Justice ...

 Dec 25 2014 - Zionist soldiers gun down Hamas fighterArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) GAZA CITY: Israel launched an airstrike in southern Gaza on Wednesday and killed a Hamas man.Palestinian medical sources said Tayseer Al-Ismary 33 was killed 'as a result of ...

 Dec 25 2014 - 'IS responsible for pilot's safety'Arab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) AMMAN: Islamic State fighters took a Jordanian pilot captive after his warplane came down in northeast Syria on Wednesday the first captive taken from the US-led coalition ...

 Dec 25 2014 - Iraq bomber kills 26 in attack on anti-terror groupArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) BAGHDAD: A suicide bomber attacked Sunni anti-jihadi fighters south of Baghdad on Wednesday killing at least 26 people while a senior counter-terrorism officer was shot dead in ...

 Dec 25 2014 - Israeli land grab: 380 new settler homes approvedArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) JERUSALEM: Israeli authorities gave final approval on Wednesday to the construction of 380 new settler homes in two areas of annexed east Jerusalem a local official said.Yosef ...

more...


 






Google

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help