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Kerry rebukes Venezuela for 'unacceptable' use of force

US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday condemned Venezuela's "unacceptable" use of force against anti-government protesters, and declined to respond to an offer from Caracas for bilateral talks. "The government's use of force and judicial intimidation against citizens and political figures, who are exercising a legitimate right to protest, is unacceptable and will only increase the likelihood of violence," Kerry said in a statement. "This is not how democracies behave." oh/ch

(News Focus) Kerry injects some vigor into Asia 'pivot'

By Lee Chi-dong JAKARTA, Feb. 17 (Yonhap) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has provided a much-needed boost to the Barack Obama administration's rebalancing toward Asia, as he wraps up a whistle-stop tour of three key regional countries. Some questioned his role in the U.S. policy on Asia. He spent much of his time and energy in grappling with Syria, Iran and other Middle East issues over the first 10 months as Washington's top diplomat.

U.S. stresses commitment to defend Japan in Washington talks

By David Brunnstrom WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Friday stressed its commitment to the defense of Japan and stability in the Asia-Pacific region against a backdrop of increasingly assertive territorial claims by China. After a meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, Secretary of State John Kerry emphasized the importance of the U.S.-Japan relationship, which both countries say remains robust in spite of a bump after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited a controversial war shrine in December.

U.S. stresses commitment to defend Japan in Washington talks

By David Brunnstrom WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Friday stressed its commitment to the defense of Japan and stability in the Asia-Pacific region against a backdrop of increasingly assertive territorial claims by China. After a meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, Secretary of State John Kerry emphasized the importance of the U.S.-Japan relationship, which both countries say remains robust in spite of a bump after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited a controversial war shrine in December.

Kerry to visit China, S. Korea next week

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday he will visit Asian countries including China next week for talks with leaders such as his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, mainly on North Korea's nuclear programs. Kerry will visit South Korea on Feb. 13 and 14 for possible meetings with President Park Geun Hye and Foreign Minister Yun Byung Se prior to his likely arrival in Beijing on Feb. 14, a diplomatic source said.

U.S. committed to defend Japan over territorial claim in E. China Sea

Japan and the United States agreed during their foreign ministerial talks Friday to work closely to deal with China's territorial claims with Washington reaffirming its commitment to defending Japan under the security treaty including East China Sea waters, officials said. Japan and the United States agreed they will enhance trilateral cooperation with South Korea for the denuclearization of North Korea and work closely so President Barack Obama can visit Japan in April.

U.S. committed to defend Japan over territorial claim in E. China Sea

Japan and the United States agreed during their foreign ministerial talks Friday to work closely to deal with China's territorial claims with Washington reaffirming its commitment to defending Japan under the security treaty including East China Sea waters, officials said. Japan and the United States agreed they will enhance trilateral cooperation with South Korea for the denuclearization of North Korea and work closely so President Barack Obama can visit Japan in April.

I won't be intimidated in peace talks, says Kerry

Amid a bitter spat between the US and Israel, Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday bullets were worse than words and vowed he would not be "intimidated" in his dogged quest for peace. The two countries have been at loggerheads after senior Israeli figures attacked the top US diplomat for weekend comments in which he warned that if the peace talks fail, Israel could face a growing threat of a boycott by the international community.

Kerry finalizing plans for new Asia visit

US Secretary of State John Kerry is fine-tuning plans for an upcoming trip to Asia which is set to focus partly on climate change, his spokeswoman said Wednesday. Although no dates have yet been released, the US top diplomat revealed at the weekend that he planned to return to China in the coming weeks. In a tweet on Tuesday, Kerry said he had just met with Assistant Secretary for Asia Danny Russel and climate chief Todd Stern before his upcoming trip as climate change will be "a major theme."

French minister hits back at US on Iran business ties

A visit to Iran by a 116-strong delegation of French business figures is "a bet" on the future and not "business as usual", France's finance minister said Wednesday, brushing off US criticism of the trip. "It's not about doing 'business as usual'," Pierre Moscovici told journalists at an entrepreneurs' gathering in Paris, referring to an expression used by US Secretary of State John Kerry when he phoned his French counterpart to complain about the visit.
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