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Dec 20, 2011

U.S. hopes N.Korea will follow the “path of peace”

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Monday the United States hopes North Korea will follow the “path of peace” after the death of its leader Kim Jong-il and urged the country to work with the international community and improve relations with its neighbors.

Clinton also expressed concern for the well-being of the North Korean population.

Dec 19, 2011

U.S. treads carefully, says still open to N.Korea nuclear talks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States offered the prospect on Monday of renewed engagement with North Korea if it takes steps toward denuclearization, but American officials expect little movement as the isolated state embarks on a period of mourning after the death of leader Kim Jong-il.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the Obama administration would judge North Korea’s new leadership — now apparently headed by Kim’s youngest son Kim Jong-un — based on how it handles itself, particularly on the nuclear issue.

Dec 19, 2011

Analysis: Kim death complicates Obama’s N.Korea nuclear quandary

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The death of North Korean leader Kim jong-il could dim hopes for fresh nuclear talks with the United States and its key Asian allies as an untested and largely unknown heir takes charge of one of the world’s most feared atomic renegade states.

The White House said on Sunday that President Barack Obama has been told of reports that Kim had died and was in close touch allies in South Korea and Japan, which along with Washington have been engaged in six-nation talks on North Korea’s nuclear program.

Dec 19, 2011

Kim death complicates Obama’s North Korea nuclear quandry

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The death of North Korean leader Kim jong-il could dim hopes for fresh nuclear talks with the United States and its key Asian allies as an untested and largely unknown heir takes charge of one of the world’s most feared atomic renegade states.

The White House said on Sunday that President Barack Obama has been told of reports that Kim had died and was in close touch allies in South Korea and Japan, which along with Washington have been engaged in six-nation talks on North Korea’s nuclear program.

Dec 18, 2011

As soldiers leave, U.S. diplomats face huge Iraq challenge

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As the last American soldiers leave Iraq, the U.S. State Department assumes the reins of a complex and risky operation, the success or failure of which could determine whether the costly nine-year U.S. engagement with the country finally bears fruit.

U.S. diplomats, shielded by thousands of security contractors, will seek to monitor Iraq’s fragile political evolution and push ahead with civilian aid programs designed to demonstrate the benefits of U.S. friendship.

Dec 15, 2011

IMF chief warns no country immune from crisis

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – No country is immune from an “escalating” euro zone crisis and each one must act to head off the risk of a global depression, the head of the International Monetary Fund said on Thursday.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, speaking at the U.S. State Department, said the outlook for the world economy is

Dec 14, 2011

Clinton warns South Sudan of “resource curse” with oil wealth

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged newly independent South Sudan on Tuesday to be prudent with its oil wealth, warning mismanagement and the “resource curse” could see money siphoned off by unscrupulous elites and foreign powers.

Clinton, speaking at a development conference for South Sudan in Washington, welcomed the new government’s pledge to improve transparency and accountability, particularly in the oil sector that appears poised for major development.

Dec 2, 2011

What not to wear in Myanmar: Clinton’s Burma road

YANGON (Reuters) – It wasn’t exactly Nixon in China, but Hillary Clinton’s visit to Myanmar this week had that slight touch of the surreal that sometimes marks the beginning of unexpected diplomatic change.

First, it had to be color coordinated.

Officials traveling with Clinton are always given instructions by the State Department on accompanying the secretary of state, but this time they came with an added set of suggestions on what not to wear for the first high-level U.S. mission to Myanmar in more than 50 years.

Dec 2, 2011

Witness: What not to wear in Myanmar: Clinton’s Burma road

YANGON (Reuters) – It wasn’t exactly Nixon in China, but Hillary Clinton’s visit to Myanmar this week had that slight touch of the surreal that sometimes marks the beginning of unexpected diplomatic change.

First, it had to be color coordinated.

Officials traveling with Clinton are always given instructions by the State Department on accompanying the secretary of state, but this time they came with an added set of suggestions on what not to wear for the first high-level U.S. mission to Myanmar in more than 50 years.

Dec 2, 2011

Clinton highlights democracy on last day of Myanmar trip

YANGON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was due for a final meeting with pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Friday as she wrapped up a landmark visit to Myanmar which saw the new civilian government pledge to forge ahead with political reforms and re-engage with the world community.

Clinton and Suu Kyi – the Nobel laureate who has come to symbolise the pro-democracy aspirations of Myanmar’s people – held a private dinner on Thursday and were to meet again on Friday at Suu Kyi’s home, effectively her prison until she was released last November after years in detention.