Washington, Feb. 1 (Yonhap) – The United States is seeking optimal ways to advance North Korea’s denuclearization process and deal with the “growing problems” of North Korean nuclear weapons, the US secretary of state said. ., Antony Blinken, in an interview with NBC News, broadcast Monday (local time).
Blinken said such measures could include additional sanctions and diplomatic incentives.
“This is a problem, a serious problem that has worsened over time, and I would be the first to recognize that it is a problem that has worsened in all administrations,” said the US diplomatic chief on the North Korean nuclear problem.
He added that therefore the first thing the president has asked of them is to review policies to ensure that they are using the most effective tools to advance the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and deal with the growing problem posed by the North Korean arsenal.
Blinken said previously that the new administration will review “the whole approach and policies” on North Korea and find ways to bring Pyongyang back to the negotiating table.
The North has stayed away from denuclearization talks since the second summit between North Korean State Affairs Committee Chairman Kim Jong-un and then-US President Donald Trump ended with no deals in February 2019. in Hanoi. Its first summit was held, in June 2018, in Singapore.
Blinken declined to give a clear answer when asked what Kim would have to do in order for him to hold a meeting with current US President Joe Biden.
The diplomatic chief said that the first thing they are going to do is review policies across the board to determine what tools they have, including more sanctions and additional cooperation and coordination with allies and partners, although they will also consider diplomatic incentives. He added that once that is done, they will be able to comment on how they plan to move forward.
The new secretary took office last Tuesday, about a week after Biden’s inauguration as president.
Biden previously criticized the meetings between Kim and Trump for failing to make any progress while giving Kim international recognition as a leader.
Either way, Biden has said that he could also agree to meet with the North Korean president if this would help advance the North’s denuclearization process.