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Summary of external news of North Korea this week

All News 16:00 January 22, 2021

SEOUL, Jan. 22 (Yonhap) -- The following is a summary of external news of North Korea this week.

Moon hopes stalled N.K. nuke diplomacy will pick up from Singapore Declaration

SEOUL, Jan. 18 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in on Monday expressed hope for the stalled diplomacy on North Korea's denuclearization to move forward from the agreement reached in the Singapore summit between Washington and Pyongyang.

"The Singapore Declaration achieved under the Trump administration was a very important declaration in terms of denuclearization and establishing peace on the Korean Peninsula," Moon said during a New Year's press conference held at Cheong Wa Dae, referring to the agreement produced from the first-ever U.S.-North Korea summit in Singapore in June 2018.

Moon added, "I believe we could speed up the North Korea-U.S. dialogue and inter-Korean talks if we negotiate ways to achieve more concrete steps by starting again from the Singapore Declaration."

Outgoing U.S. envoy says hope alone won't resolve N.K. issue, calls for readiness

SEOUL, Jan. 19 (Yonhap) -- Outgoing U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Harry Harris said Tuesday that hope alone will not resolve the North Korea issue, highlighting the importance of combined exercises between Seoul and Washington amid the North's threat to continue developing its nuclear capabilities.

Harris made the remark at a webinar in Seoul, one day after President Moon Jae-in said South and North Korea can discuss issues regarding the allies' combined military exercises, if necessary, in response to the North's repeated calls to halt the joint maneuvers.

"While we hope for diplomacy with North Korea to be successful, we all can recognize that hope alone is not a course of action," the ambassador said, citing the North's "unrelenting pursuit of nuclear weapons" and China's "malign activities."

Understanding N. Korean capabilities important part of intelligence: DNI nominee

WASHINGTON, Jan. 19 (Yonhap) -- Understanding North Korea's capabilities and true intentions is a critical role of U.S. intelligence, the nominee for U.S. director of national intelligence said Tuesday.

Avril Haines also said, if confirmed, she will review existing intelligence on North Korea to discern what the regime's intentions are.

"Understanding the capabilities and intentions of a country like North Korea is a critical responsibility of the intelligence community," Haines said in a written answer to questions from the Senate Intelligence Committee as part of her confirmation hearing.

Blinken says U.S. is 'better positioned' to deal with N. Korea when working with allies

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.

U.S. will review entire N. Korea policy, consider humanitarian aid: Blinken

WASHINGTON, Jan. 19 (Yonhap) -- The new U.S. administration of Joe Biden plans to review the country's entire approach and policy toward North Korea, Biden's secretary of state nominee said Tuesday.

Antony Blinken said the new administration may also try to find ways to get humanitarian assistance to the North to help lessen the suffering of North Korean people if necessary.

"I think we have to review and we intend to review the entire approach and policy toward North Korea because this is a hard problem that has plagued administration after administration, and it's a problem that has not gotten better," Blinken said in his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

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