South Korean president Park Geun-hye and John Kerry, the US Secretary of State had a meeting on Thursday, October 10, 2013 in Brunei in order to discuss North Korea's recent nuclear threats, as well as other global and regional issues. The meeting between Park and Kerry – who came on behalf of the US president Barack Obama – was held two days after it was reported by Seoul’s National Intelligence Service that Pyongyang restarted a nuclear reactor at Yongbyon complex, where one nuclear bomb can be built within a year.
Pyongyang’s reactivation of the nuclear reactor is perceived by the allies as a pressure from North Korea to resume the talks about multilateral aid-for-denuclearization, which have been halted in 2008. Even though Seoul and Washington have repeatedly asked Pyongyang take measures to present North Korea's denuclearization obligations, the country is now demanding an early resumption of talks involving the US, China, Russia, Japan, South and North Korea.
In the last couple of weeks, tension on the peninsula has been increasing as North Korea delayed the reunions of separated families in September 2013 and restarted a nuclear reactor a few days ago. In addition to that, as an angry reply to maritime exercises between the US, South Korea and Japan, the supreme command of North Korea placed its military on emergency status. Even though the drills were held as part of standard defense-oriented exercises, Pyongyang claimed they were a rehearsal for a war against North Korea.
Park and Kerry were also supposed to discuss Washington's support for the efforts made by Japan to expand its Self-Defense Forces' role.
Photo Credits: Washington Post