President Joe Biden’s government launched a behind-the-scenes push in February to contact the North Korean administration through multiple ways, but thus far, Pyongyang has been unresponsive.
The official said that to cut the escalation risk, they reached out to the North Korean administration through several ways starting in mid-February, including in New York. So far, they haven’t received any response from Pyongyang. This follows more than a year without active dialogue with North Korea, despite America’s multiple attempts to engage.
The official didn’t provide additional details of what the outreach entailed but noted the government has been conducting its inter-agency review of the US policy towards North Korea, including evaluation of all available opportunities to address the growing threat posed by North Korea to its neighbors and the broader international community.
The U.S. and North Korea remain at odds over North Korea’s nuclear-powered and ballistic-missile programs. Three meetings between Joe Biden’s predecessor, Trump, and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un achieved a little. The meetings failed to persuade North Korea to give up nuclear warheads, a key demand of America and other Western powers.
The official added the government has consulted with former government officials with experience in North Korean policy during the review process, including some officials from the Mr. Trump administration. America has also been in touch with allies from South Korea and Japan.
The official said that they anticipate completing their intensive, multi-stakeholder policy review in the upcoming weeks.
Reuters was the first to report the outreach efforts on Saturday.
Satellite imagery reveals North Korea took recent steps to conceal nuclear weapons
According to multiple roots familiar with the internal discussions, the outreach news comes as policymakers and key American allies are eagerly awaiting details about Joe Biden’s North Korea policy. They expect that those details will be publicized soon when the government has completed a policy review.
CNN obtained Satellite imagery which reveals North Korea has recently taken steps to conceal a facility that American intelligence agencies believe is being used to store nuclear arms.
During this week’s visit to South Korea and Japan by Anthony Blinken (U.S. Secretary of State) and Lloyd Austin (U.S. Defense Secretary), North Korea’s atomic ambitions are expected to feature prominently.
North Korea and America’s relations plummeted in 2017 when North Korea tested long-range missiles capable of hitting American cities. Tensions eased as Donald Trump bet on developing a personal rapport with Kim.
But the much-trumpeted meetings, including summits in Vietnam and Singapore, failed to overcome differences over nuclear disarmament and sanctions. America rebuffed North Korean demands to lift sanctions in return for only a partial reduction in atomic capabilities.
North Korea is presently more cut off from the outside world than ever before. Its borders have been closed for over a year to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The trade with its key ally China has dwindled by more than 90 percent in the past few months.