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US Awaits Reply From North Korea

Nations appear to have had no contact in more than a year, administration official says
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 14, 2021 10:45 AM CDT

(Newser) – After four years of US diplomatic efforts with North Korea going nowhere, the new administration has tried to establish a dialogue with the government of Kim Jong Un. Several attempts were made last month, USA Today reports, including one through North Korea's UN mission in New York. A Biden administration official said the intention was "to reduce the risks of escalation," adding, "To date, we have not received any response from Pyongyang." Secretary of State Antony Blinken will be in South Korea and Japan this week, and officials said North Korea's nuclear capabilities will be among the topics discussed by the allies, per Reuters. The Biden administration is conducting a review of US policy and interactions with North Korea, which the official said will be finished in a few weeks.

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Officials who served under former President Trump have been consulted for the review, as have South Korea and Japan, per CNN. There seems to have been no contact between the nations in more than a year, the administration official said. Allied nations and members of Congress are waiting to hear President Biden's plans. During the campaign, he called the three Trump-Kim meetings "photo-ops" that brought no results. In the meantime, North Korea kept adding to its nuclear and conventional weapons. The candidate said he'd meet with Kim only "on the condition that he would agree that he would be drawing down his nuclear capacity." Ahead of Blinken's trip, a State Department official said, "Our commitment to seeking a compete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula ... has not changed." (Read more North Korea stories.)

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