US, Japan, S. Korea Explore Limits to N. Korea’s Arms
The United States is increasing pressure on North Korea to cut back on its nuclear activities.
The U.S. government also wants to build ties with allies and partners in East Asia to deal with the rising threat of a nuclear-armed North Korea.
This week, the State Department released a statement on North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs. It said the programs directly threaten the security of South Korea, Japan and the United States.
South Korean, Japanese and U.S. officials met in Washington on Monday to discuss ways to restrict the money North Korea spends on weapons development.
The three said they "explored a joint way forward toward the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of North Korea."
Joseph Yun is the State Department's Special Representative for North Korea Policy. He led the meeting with Japanese and South Korean officials.
The discussions followed an earlier foreign ministerial meeting in the German city of Bonn. They were at least partly a reaction to North Korea's latest ballistic missile launch on February 12.
The State Department noted: "The officials considered other possible measures under national authorities, including means to restrict further the revenue sources for North Korea's weapons programs, particularly illicit activities."
Stephen Noerper is a professor at Columbia University and serves as a director of the Korea Society. He says "human rights and financial measures" are two issues that have had the greatest effect on North Korea.
In the past, U.S. officials have threatened to send reports of human rights abuses by the government of Kim Jong Un to the International Criminal Court. The U.S. government also has taken steps to restrict the finances of North Korean individuals and groups.
Anthony Ruggiero is with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a research center in Washington. He told VOA that the U.S. Japan and South Korea should decide on new action against North Korea. He said the three should target North Korea's provocative activities.
Ruggiero also said cooperation with China was important.
"Beijing should at least be part of the focus of renewed North Korea sanctions," he said.
Stephen Noerper, however, notes that some Chinese officials have blamed U.S. actions for recent efforts by North Korea to expand its missile program.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke with Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi on Tuesday. The two discussed what they called, the "mutually beneficial economic relationship" between the U.S. and China. But they also noted concerns about North Korean nuclear activities.
On Monday, Yang spoke briefly with U.S. President Donald Trump after he met with Trump's national security adviser, H.R. McMaster. Yang also met with Trump's adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner.
The United States, China, Japan and South Korea are all members of what diplomats call the six party talks. The two other members are North Korea and Russia.
The six party talks have been held at different times since 2003. The goal was to expand economic aid, security guarantees and diplomatic ties with North Korea in exchange for the North suspending its nuclear weapons program.
However, all six countries have not held talks since North Korea tested a nuclear device in 2009. That was one of five nuclear tests the country has carried out.
Some former U.S. officials say it is time to deal with North Korea in a different way. They say direct engagement with the North could help develop ways to avoid a possible conflict that is in no one's interest.
I'm Mario Ritter.
1.cut back 削减
They will be concerned to cut back expenditure on unnecessary items.
He had ascertained that his son-in-law was among the living prisoners.
3.human rights 人权
In the treaty both sides pledge to respect human rights.
4.deal with 处理
In dealing with suicidal youngsters, our aims should be clear.
1.That was one of five nuclear tests the country has carried out.
carried out 实施
Forensic experts carried out a painstaking search of the debris.
The Marines carried out a drill that included 18 ships and 90 aircraft.
2.The U.S. government also has taken steps to restrict the finances of North Korean individuals and groups.
taken steps to 采取措施
I had already taken steps to speed up a solution to the problem.
Have you taken steps to protect your home?
本周，美国务院发布了一份有关朝鲜核武器和弹道导弹项目的声明 。该声明中指出，朝鲜的核项目直接直接威胁到韩国、日本和美国的安全 。
约瑟夫·尹（Joseph Yun）是美国务院对朝鲜政策的特别代表 。他和日本、韩国官员共同主持了此次会议 。
此前，德国波恩曾召开过一个外交部长级会议 。此次会议一定程度上是对朝鲜2月12日发射最新弹道导弹的回应 。
史蒂芬·诺伯（Stephen Noerper）是哥伦比亚大学的教授，也是韩国社交协会的主席 。他表示，“人权和财政措施”两大问题对朝鲜的影响最大 。
美国官员曾威胁要向国际刑事法庭递交金正恩政府滥用人权的报告 。美国政府还采取措施限制朝鲜个人和组织的财政收入 。
安东尼·鲁杰罗（Anthony Ruggiero）在华盛顿一家捍卫民主基金会工作 。他告诉VOA，美国、日本和韩国应该采取新一轮措施应对朝鲜核威胁 。他认为，三个国家应将朝鲜的挑衅活动作为目标 。
周二，美国国务卿雷克斯·蒂勒森（Rex Tillerson）与中国国务委员杨洁篪举行会谈 。他们讨论了中美两国的“互惠互利的经济关系” 。同时也提及对朝鲜核活动的担忧 。
周一，在会见完国家安全顾问H.R.麦克马斯特（H.R. McMaster）后，杨洁篪与美国总统唐纳德·特朗普进行了简短会谈 。他还会见了特朗普的顾问兼女婿杰瑞德·库斯纳（Jared Kushner） 。
美国、中国、日本和韩国都是六方会谈的成员 。另外两名成员国为朝鲜和俄罗斯 。
从2003年开始，六方会谈开始在不同的时间召开 。会谈目的旨在扩大对朝鲜的经济援助、安全保证和外交关系好让朝鲜停止研究核武器项目 。
但是2009年朝鲜测试核装置后，6个国家再未举行过会谈 。朝鲜进行的五次核测试中包括这一次 。
一些前美国官员表示，是时候以其他方式应对朝鲜了 。他们认为，与朝鲜直接接触有利于寻找避免冲突的良策 。