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Blinken stresses need to work together on N. Korea in call with Chinese counterpart

Diplomacy 01:21 June 12, 2021

By Byun Duk-kun

WASHINGTON, June 11 (Yonhap) -- U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stressed the need for his country and China to work together to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula in his rare conversation with Chinese counterpart, Yang Jiechi, on Friday.

Blinken and Yang also discussed the outcome of the United States' recently concluded North Korea policy review in their telephone conversation, according to the State Department.

"Secretary Blinken and Director Yang discussed the United States' comprehensive DPRK policy review, focusing on the need for the United States and the PRC to work together for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," it said in a press release.

DPRK stands for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the North's official name.

The talks between Blinken and Yang came nearly three months after they met in Alaska for two-plus-two talks that involved their countries' top national security advisers.

The call also comes amid a growing rivalry between the countries with top U.S. military officials frequently labeling China as a "pacing threat."

Blinken has said the U.S.-China relations will be adversarial when necessary but cooperative when possible.

The U.S. had sought to engage with North Korea in February, then again when its monthslong review of its North Korea policy was completed in April, but Pyongyang is said to remain unresponsive to U.S. overtures.

China is considered the closest ally of the reclusive North with considerable leverage over Pyongyang that many believe may be enough to bring North Korea back to the dialogue table.

North Korea has stayed away from denuclearization talks since 2019.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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