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U.S., China can continue to cooperate on N. Korea: Biegun

All News 04:20 July 23, 2020

By Lee Haye-ah

WASHINGTON, July 22 (Yonhap) -- The United States and China can continue to work together on North Korea while competing in other areas, the No. 2 State Department official said Wednesday.

Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun made the remark in written testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee ahead of a hearing on U.S. policy on China the same day.

"North Korea's weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs undermine our shared strategic interest in peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula," said Biegun, who doubles as the top U.S. envoy for North Korea. "China agrees that diplomacy is the preferred approach to resolving the issue of North Korea's

Diplomatic efforts to dismantle North Korea's nuclear weapons program have stalled since the collapse of the February 2019 Vietnam summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

As North Korea's biggest ally and economic benefactor, China wields considerable influence over Pyongyang's actions.

Biegun said the U.S. will continue to engage the Chinese to improve Beijing's enforcement of U.N. Security Council sanctions against Pyongyang.

But he also acknowledged China's efforts to reduce trade with North Korea and urge the neighboring country to continue diplomatic conversations with the U.S. with the aim of bringing peace and prosperity to the Korean Peninsula.

This file photo shows U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun. (Yonhap)

This file photo shows U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun. (Yonhap)


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