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Biden's key figures for national security on Korean Peninsula issues Updated: 2021-01-20 14:53:44 KST

Joe Biden's pick for U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken said on Tuesday that the incoming administration is planning a full review of the U.S. approach to North Korea, and is looking at ways to bring the regime to the negotiating table.

"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 not gotten better. In fact, it's gotten worse."

During his confirmation hearing at the Capitol, Blinken also signaled possible humanitarian aid to Pyeongyang, while at the same time, increasing pressure on the regime.
In the process, he said the U.S. will work closely with its allies, particularly South Korea and Japan.

"The U.S., at least, wants to be more diplomatic towards North Korea, try to open a working-level talk with North Korea. But the problem is that the priority of North Korea policy is pretty much lower than other policy areas."

The nominee for U.S. Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin said in a written response to the Senate Armed Services Committee, that he'll look to quickly conclude stalled defense cost-sharing talks with South Korea.
Negotiations on the Special Measures Agreement have stalled as the Trump administration is said to have demanded a 50-percent increase, significantly higher than Seoul's proposal of a 13-percent increase.

"The alliance restoration is the most important part for the Biden government's foreign policies. South Korea proposed a 13 percent raise, so I think the Biden government will accept that."

The nominee for U.S. director of national intelligence, Avril Haines said in a written response to the Senate Intelligence Committee, that understanding North Korea's capabilities and intentions of continued missile testing is a critical responsibility of U.S. intelligence, recognizing the regime as a threat to America.
Yoon Jung-min, Arirang News.
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