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U.S. considering sanctions, incentives in approach to N. Korea: Blinken Updated: 2021-02-02 13:49:57 KST

The U.S. is considering using both further sanctions and diplomatic incentives at the same time in its approach to North Korea.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in an interview with NBC, said he had asked his national security team to review U.S. policy on Pyeongyang "across the board", to determine effective ways to achieve denuclearization.
He said the problem has "gotten worse over time", and that the U.S. will coordinate with its allies.
His remarks were much in line with what he previously said during his Senate confirmation hearing.

"We intend to review the entire approach and policy toward North Korea, because this is a hard problem that has plagued administration after administration."

Washington has yet to announce a detailed approach to Pyeongyang, while experts say the Biden administration still seems to be in the process of reviewing North Korea policies.

"I think the Biden administration is open to these various options. Not only just pressure, including sanctions, but at the same time, they are thinking about more cooperation from the allies, and also making some friendly environment to resume the negotiations with North Korea."

The expert added that the upcoming Seoul-Washington joint military exercises, which are slated for March, are a critical factor that could raise tensions on the Korean Peninsula, as Pyeongyang has publicly opposed them.

"I think they implicitly give a sign that, if the U.S. and South Korea resume the military exercise, North Korea would not exclude the possibility to have some kind of military provocations."

The expert says, as for Seoul playing a mediating role between Pyeongyang and Washington, it requires close coordination with the U.S., adding Biden is unlikely to hold summit-level talks unless there is progress in working-level talks.
Yoon Jung-min, Arirang News.
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