SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - A senior U.S. diplomat will discuss
how to handle an increasingly defiant North Korea in a standoff
over its nuclear program when he meets with South Korean officials
in a series of meetings Monday.
Kurt Campbell, the assistant secretary of state for East Asia
and Pacific affairs, heads to Thailand later Monday for Asia's main
security conference, at which North Korea is also expected to be a
North Korea quit international talks aimed at ending its nuclear
ambitions in April in anger over a U.N. rebuke after it launched a
long-range rocket. It has since further escalated tensions,
conducting a nuclear test in May and a series of banned ballistic
missile tests early this month.
Campbell said Saturday after talks with Seoul's deputy foreign
minister that there should be "consequences" for North Korea's
provocations, but said the U.S. and its partners would be prepared
to offer "attractive" incentives if Pyongyang returned to the
disarmament talks and took "serious and irreversible steps" to
The stalled talks involved China, Japan, the two Koreas, Russia
and the U.S.
Pyongyang's No. 2 leader, Kim Yong Nam, said at the Nonaligned
Summit in Egypt last week that the nuclear talks are permanently
over because the U.S. and its allies do not respect North Korea's
Campbell is scheduled to meet with Seoul's foreign minister, the
nuclear envoy and other senior security officials on Monday.
The security conference opening Wednesday in Thailand brings
together foreign ministers and senior diplomats from 27 countries,
including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
North Korea is sending a lower-level official, instead of the
foreign minister, to the meeting on the resort island of Phuket.