© Reuters. Overseas and Protection Ministerial assembly between South Korea and U.S. on the Overseas Ministry in Seoul


By Humeyra Pamuk and Hyonhee Shin

SEOUL (Reuters) – Each stress and diplomatic choices are on the desk for coping with North Korea, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated on Thursday, hours after a senior North Korean diplomat rejected any talks till Washington modified its insurance policies.

Blinken instructed a joint briefing with South Korean officers in Seoul that the administration of President Joe Biden would full its evaluate of North Korea coverage within the subsequent few weeks in shut session with its allies.

“President Biden plans to finish a North Korea coverage evaluate within the weeks forward in shut cooperation and session with the Republic of Korea, with Japan and with different key companions, together with resuming stress choices and the potential for future diplomacy,” Blinken stated.

He declined to elaborate when requested what method america would take after the evaluate.

However when requested at a separate on-line roundtable with Korean journalists if Biden would meet Kim, Blinken stated Washington is exploring methods to persuade North Korea to make progress on denuclearisation by contemplating each “totally different sorts of stress factors” and diplomacy.

“In a way, every thing is on the desk. We now have a really open thoughts about it,” he stated.

The feedback got here hours after North Korean official Choe Son Hui referred to as the Biden administration’s makes an attempt to contact Pyongyang a “low-cost trick”, in Pyongyang’s first public assertion on the matter.

Blinken was making his first go to to South Korea as secretary of state, alongside U.S. Secretary of Protection Lloyd Austin.

They issued a joint assertion with their South Korean counterparts, Overseas Minister Chung Eui-yong and Protection Minister Suh Wook, vowing to work collectively on regional points from local weather change and the coronavirus pandemic to commerce and North Korea.

“The ministers and secretaries emphasised that North Korean nuclear and ballistic missile points are a precedence for the alliance, and reaffirmed a shared dedication to handle and resolve these points,” they stated within the assertion.


Whereas the joint assertion largely targeted on shared issues and pursuits, the briefing confirmed potential sources of future coverage discord on North Korea and China.

Blinken stated its North Korea technique wouldn’t solely handle safety issues but additionally the “repressive” North Korean authorities’s “widespread, systematic abuses” on its folks.

Activists have accused the administration of South Korean President Moon Jae-in and former U.S. President Donald Trump of overlooking the North Korean human rights difficulty as they sought to enhance ties and pursued summits with North Korean chief Kim Jong Un.

“The targets of this coverage are clear: we’re dedicated to the denuclearisation of North Korea, decreasing the broader menace the DPRK poses to america and our allies, and bettering the lives of all Koreans,” Blinken stated.

Moon has referred to as for Biden to construct on progress made by Kim and Trump from their unprecedented summit in Singapore in 2018, which Chung stated may present the groundwork for future talks between Washington and Pyongyang.

“We predict the Singapore settlement deserves adequate consideration because it has primary rules for bettering North Korea-U.S. relations, establishing peace and reaching denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula,” Chung instructed the briefing.

Blinken additionally blamed China on the briefing for undermining regional stability and safety with its “aggressive and authoritarian behaviour,” and burdened its function in convincing North Korea to denuclearise.

Beijing has rebuked Blinken’s comparable remarks in Tokyo, and his renewed criticism got here forward of his first in-person conferences with Chinese language counterparts in Alaska on Thursday.

Blinken referred to as for unity amongst allies, regardless of Seoul’s hesitance to impress China, its largest financial associate and an ally of North Korea.

“It’s extra vital than ever that we stand collectively for the values for the curiosity that unite us,” he stated.