Secretary Campbell Talks Diplomacy, Nukes in Seoul

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by Alex Forster
Yongbyon Nuclear Site, North Korea. This is a satellite image of construction at the Yongbyon site. Image Credit: DigitalGlobe,

Kurt Campbell, the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and the Pacific, was in Seoul again on Tuesday for the second time in a month. During his speech to mark the 55th anniversary of the Korea Society, Secretary Campbell made it clear that the US is eager to engage in diplomatic talks with North Korea, but that the North must first meet certain obligations to make such talks possible. Those obligations include improving relations with South Korea and ceasing their uranium enrichment program. The primary concern for the US is to see the total denuclearization of North Korea, in exchange for which the North will receive food aid from the US. During a press briefing Wednesday morning in Seoul, Secretary Campbell also reiterated that the US is working with South Korea and Japan to appropriately implement sanctions against Iran in response to its own alleged nuclear ambitions. South Korea is taking center-stage on global nuclear security this year as it prepares to host the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit in March.