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Key figures picked by Biden express views on Korean peninsula issues Updated: 2021-01-20 10:14:42 KST


The U.S. nominee for secretary of state Antony Blinken has said the Biden administration plans to review the country's entire approach and policy toward North Korea including the top-down diplomacy pursued by the Trump administration.
During a confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Blinken also added Tuesday that the administration will try to find ways to get humanitarian assistance into the North as well as look at ways to increase pressure on North Korea to come to the negotiating table.
In the process it'll consult closely with its allies, particularly South Korea and Japan.
The nominee for U.S. secretary of defense Lloyd Austin in a written response to questions from the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he'll seek to quickly conclude stalled negotiations with South Korea to finalize the defense cost-sharing for maintaining U.S. troops on the Korean Peninsula.
Seoul and Washington have held talks since late 2019 to renew their Special Measures Agreement but negotiations have stalled as the Trump administration is said to have demanded a 50-percent increase from the 870-million U.S. dollars Seoul paid in 2019 significantly higher than Seoul's proposal of a 13-percent increase.
Austin said China is Washington's most worrisome rival but that the U.S. should cooperate with China in dealing with North Korea.
The nominee for U.S. director of national intelligence Avril Haines in a written statement to the Senate Intelligence Committee said understanding North Korea's capabilities and true intentions of continued missile testing is a critical responsibility of U.S. intelligence as the North poses one of the greatest threats to the U.S.
Kim Ji-yeon, Arirang News.
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