US Defense Chief Visits Korean DMZ
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter called on North Korea to end its nuclear weapons program during a visit Sunday to the Demilitarized Zone that separates the two Koreas.
Carter traveled to the DMZ from Seoul and walked up to Observation Post Ouellete, the closest point where South Korea's side of the DMZ meets with the North's.
Pyongyang abandoned negotiations on its nuclear program in 2009 conducted with five other nations, including China, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the United States. Carter said Washington remains committed to the negotiations, and called on the communist country to return to the talks.
"They should be on a path of doing less, and ultimately zero, in the nuclear field," Carter told reporters.
Carter will attend a joint U.S.- South Korea security meeting in Seoul later Sunday.
South Korea, Japan, China Hold First Talks in Three Years
The leaders of South Korea, China and Japan held their first three-way summit since 2012 as they attempt to put aside lingering disputes and resentments dating back decades.
South Korean President Park Guen-hye hosted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Seoul Sunday for a daylong meeting that is expected to focus on negotiations over a proposed trilateral free trade agreement.
The three leaders are also expected to discuss reviving the long-dormant North Korean nuclear disarmament talks.
President Park had refused to meet with Abe since first taking office in 2013, believing he has not properly atoned for his country's brutal occupation of the Korean peninsula in the first half of the 20th century, especially the sexual enslavement of Korean women by Japanese forces.
Another factor complicating relations is a heated territorial dispute between Tokyo and Beijing over a group of islands in the East China Sea.
President Park will hold a one-on-one session with Abe on Monday.