By Byun Duk-kun
WASHINGTON, Jan. 19 (Yonhap) -- Secretary of State-designate Antony Blinken on Tuesday vowed efforts to improve U.S. relations with allies, saying the country is "far better positioned" to deal with threats from North Korea and other adversaries when it works with friendly nations.
The former deputy secretary of state made the remarks at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
"We can revitalize our core alliances -- force multipliers of our influence around the world," said Blinken.
"Together, we are far better positioned to counter threats posed by Russia, Iran and North Korea and to stand up for democracy and human rights," he added.
It marked the first time Blinken has publicly mentioned
North Korea since his nomination in late November by President-elect Joe Biden.
Blinken has largely remained silent even as many North Korea experts pointed to the possibility of a long-range missile test, nuclear test, or other move by Pyongyang in an effort to place itself on the list of priorities for the incoming U.S. administration.
Pyongyang has yet to mount any provocation, and Gen. Robert Abrams, commander of U.S. Forces Korea, said on Jan. 4 that the regime thus far had shown no signs of doing so.
Biden is set to be sworn in on Wednesday.
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