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Pentagon nominee advocates talks with N. Korea

All Headlines 02:35 November 17, 2017

WASHINGTON, Nov. 16 (Yonhap) -- The nominee for the Pentagon's top official for Asia said Thursday that talks with North Korea will eventually be necessary to dismantle its nuclear weapons program.

Randy Schriver, nominee to be assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific affairs, said he believes diplomacy is the only way to avoid war on the Korean Peninsula.

"I do believe we need to get out of the binary trap of war or treating North Korea as a recognized nuclear state," he said during his confirmation hearing at the Senate Armed Services Committee. "The only way to fall anywhere else on the spectrum is through diplomacy."

He noted, however, that North Korea has been reluctant to engage in any kind of dialogue as seen in its rejection of South Korea's proposal for talks

"We need a willing partner on the other side," he said. "First step, getting to a place where we can talk. Second, substance and content of those talks."

Schriver worked as deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs from 2003 to 2005. Before that, he served for two years as chief of staff and senior policy adviser to then Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage.


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