Antony Blinken, Biden’s nominee for secretary of state, said on Tuesday that the incoming administration planned a full review for their approach to North Korea. He added that he would look at ways to increase pressure on Pyongyang to come to the negotiation table over its nuclear capabilities.
Blinken further said that Washington would also look into providing humanitarian aid to North Korea if needed. He told the Congressional leaders at this confirmation hearing that the incoming administration would also have an eye on the humanitarian side of the situation.
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While answering the question of Democratic Senator Ed Markey on whether he would support a “phased agreement” with Pyongyang, albeit with the ultimate aim of denuclearizing the country. To this, he replied that his administration would have to review it. Blinken added that over the past few years, the situation with North Korea has worsened and stated that he intends to review the entire Pyongyang-Washington policy.
He told the senators that his review would be to look at the variety of options that can be effective in pressuring North Korea to come to the dialogue and other diplomatic approaches. Biden’s secretary of state maintained that the incoming administration would start with close consultations with key allies in the region, including South Korea and Japan.
Meanwhile, Kurt Campbell, Biden’s senior advisor for the South Asia policy, stated that the administration would have to make an early decision of its approach and urged the incoming administration not to repeat Obama’s mistakes of delaying their action plan and angering Pyongyang. While addressing the nation last week, Kim called for the development of more advanced nuclear weapons and described Washington as the nation’s biggest enemy.
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