N.Korea's Kim dashes early hope but US still seeks change -Clinton

WASHINGTON Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:15pm IST

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un makes an opening address at the Fourth Meeting of Secretaries of Cells of the Workers' Party of Korea, in Pyongyang in this undated picture released by North Korea's KCNA news agency on January 29, 2013. REUTERS/KCNA

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un makes an opening address at the Fourth Meeting of Secretaries of Cells of the Workers' Party of Korea, in Pyongyang in this undated picture released by North Korea's KCNA news agency on January 29, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/KCNA

Related Topics

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - North Korea's missile tests and menacing rhetoric have disappointed U.S expectations that young leader Kim Jong-un would be different than his father but Washington still hopes to persuade Pyongyang to change course, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday.

"With a new young leader we all expected something different," Clinton said in a town hall-style session put together by the State Department and broadcast worldwide. "We expected him to focus on improving the lives of the North Korea people, not just the elite, but everyone.

"Instead he has engaged in very provocative rhetoric and behavior," she said of Kim, who took over his impoverished, isolated Northeast Asian nation when his father, Kim Jong-il, died in December 2011.

Last week the North declared a boycott of all dialogue aimed at ending its nuclear program and vowed to conduct more rocket and nuclear tests with its "sworn enemy" the United States as the target.

The serial diatribes in North Korea's state media, which also threatened U.S. ally South Korea with war, came after the U.N. Security Council censured it for a long-range missile launch in December and added to longstanding sanctions.

Many analysts say North Korea is preparing for what would be its third nuclear weapons test, with Kim Jong-un following his father's pattern of drawing international opprobrium with a missile test and then responding to world criticism with another missile or nuclear test.

Clinton, in one of her final interviews before leaving office, said the United States, its allies Japan and South Korea and regional powers China and now "have to work closely together to try to change the behavior of the North Korean regime."

"We still hope there is a way to convince the North Korean regime not to pursue this path," she said.

Noting that the young Kim was partly educated in Switzerland and might seek to make changes to the regime his grandfather founded in 1948, she urged him to "be the kind of leader who will be remembered for the millennia as the person who moved North Korea on a path of reform."

(Reporting by Paul Eckert; Editing by Bill Trott)

FILED UNDER:

Sony Cyber Attack

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Exit Polls

Exit Polls

BJP unlikely to form Jammu & Kashmir govt - polls.  Full Article 

Forceful Conversions

Forceful Conversions

BJP distances itself from religious conversions.  Full Article 

Photo

Fund Raising

Flipkart raises $700 million in fresh funding.   Full Article 

Reforms Push

Reforms Push

Modi may order insurance, coal reforms if vote delayed - officials.  Full Article 

Economic Pulse

Economic Pulse

Crank up public spending to revive growth - chief economic adviser.  Full Article 

Reuters Exclusive

Reuters Exclusive

India looks to sway Americans with nuclear power insurance plan  Full Article 

Down Under

Down Under

Magic Johnson inspires Australia to second test win.  Full Article 

Going International

Going International

Bollywood’s Priyanka Chopra sets sights on American TV.  Full Article 

India This Week

India This Week

Some of our best photos from this week.   Full Coverage 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device   Full Coverage