,dTOKYO (AP) — The U.S. envoy on North Korean human rights issues says that political and economic reforms unfolding in Myanmar are a great example for North Korea to follow.
Robert King told reporters in Tokyo on Friday that if North Korea took similar steps to Myanmar, or Burma, the international community would probably respond favorably, as it has with Myanmar.
In the wake of President Thein Sein’s reforms in Myanmar, Western nations have eased sanctions imposed during the previous military regime’s repressive rule, and investors and tourists have begun flocking to the country.
“I would hope the North Koreans see what’s happened in Burma and recognize that as something that’s positive,” King said. “I see Burma as a great example of where we’d like to see North Korea going,” King said.
If Pyongyang moved in “positive” directions that would allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to monitor the country’s nuclear program, “then I think there will be positive movement in other directions, as there has been in Burma.”
North Korea has vowed to push ahead with its nuclear program, and there are widespread worries that it may follow a failed April 13 long-range rocket test with a third nuclear test.
The launch came several weeks after Pyongyang had struck a deal with Washington to receive food aid in return for a freeze in nuclear activity and ballistic missile testing. The U.S. viewed the launch as a cover for a test of missile technology and a violation of the agreement.
The rocket launch has made food aid “out of the range of possibilities right now,” King said. “Would we consider it in the future? Possibly. Are we considering it now? No.”
King, who met with Japanese government officials and flies to Seoul on Saturday, said a major concern about food aid to North Korea is whether Pyongyang would allow the U.S. to monitor its distribution so that the food reaches those most in need, and is not diverted to the military.
King said he had seen North Korean news reports about a drought in the country. But he said that he had also seen weather reports of heavy rain in the region last week that may have eased the drought.
He said the U.S. didn’t have an overall assessment of the food situation there, and that he didn’t think it was different this year from past years.
Average food production in North Korea is about 20 percent below what the needs of the population are, and Pyongyang meets the shortfall with assistance from other countries or buying grain, he said.
More Related Stories
- Mississippi could begin prosecuting women for miscarriages
- Teenage girl claims she was beaten up for looking like Taylor Swift
- UK Military: London attack victim was a "model soldier"
- Billionaire hedge funder: Babies, breast-feeding "kill" focus, keep women from succeeding
- "Bookless library" set to open in Texas
- 2 more arrested in London attacks
- Glenn Beck: CNN interview with atheist tornado survivor was a setup!
- Incoming BBC news director on journalism gender gap: "We can do better"
- Illegal construction, shoddy materials at fault in Bangladesh factory disaster
- Ahead of Obama's speech, U.S. acknowledges four American drone killings
- Must-see morning clip: Bill O'Reilly visits "The Daily Show"
- Lawsuit alleges anti-gay hiring practices at ExxonMobil
- Boy Scouts poised to vote, still greatly divided on gay youth
- House supporters of KXL received $56m from fossil fuel industry
- 80-year-old becomes oldest to climb Mount Everest
- Before FBI shooting man implicated self, Tsarnaev in triple murder
- Paul McCartney backs Pussy Riot
- UK emergency committee convenes after attack
- Brave scout leader tried to reason with London attackers
- If Alex Pareene were a cable news executive...
- El Salvador court delays ruling on abortion case while woman's life hangs in the balance
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11