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U.S. will move on N. Korea after bringing allies to same page: Price

North Korea 05:41 February 10, 2021

By Byun Duk-kun

WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 (Yonhap) -- The United States will engage North Korea after its ongoing policy review is completed and U.S. allies are brought up to speed, in terms of their approach and objective, a State Department official said Tuesday.

Press secretary Ned Price also said the new Biden administration will not move "too soon" or alone.

"I think the risk in moving too soon -- whether the issue is Iran, whether the issue is North Korea -- is that we don't bring along our allies and our partners with us," Price told a press briefing.

"And it's very important that we do the diplomatic legwork before we undertake any approach that we know what our strategic objectives are, but, as importantly, our partners and our allies also know what our strategic objectives are," he said when asked if there has been any progress in the North Korea policy review.

The captured image from the Youtube account of the U.S. State Department shows department press secretary Ned Price speaking at a press briefing in Washington on Feb. 9, 2021. (Yonhap)

The U.S. review formally got under way after Secretary of State Antony Blinken took office two weeks earlier.

The new top U.S. diplomat has argued the former Trump administration's foreign policy failed because of its "America First" policy, which he says had often led to America acting alone.

"Our focus in formulating this new policy, this new policy approach and undertaking these consultations will be on reducing the threat to the United States and our allies," said Price. "And as I think you've heard us say before, at the core, we do remain committed to the denuclearization of North Korea."

Price dismissed concerns that not engaging with North Korea quickly could lead the North to try to force itself onto the agenda of the new Biden administration, possibly through the means of military provocations.

"I think we would be more concerned with the prospect of not closely coordinating with our partners, in this instance, of course, the Republic of Korea and Japan," he said.

"Whether it's North Korea, whether it's Iran, whether it is any other global challenge, in the first instance we want to make sure we are on precisely the same page -- to make sure our allies and partners know that we are there for them, that we have their back, that we are on this diplomatic endeavor together," added the press secretary.


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