President Joe Biden’s Administration has been trying since mid-February to contact North Korea through different channels, including its mission to the United Nations, but has received no response, according to a senior official quoted by CNN.
“To reduce the risks of escalation, we contacted the North Korean Government through various channels since mid-February, including through New York,” the official said, referring to the Mission that the North Korean Government has in that city for representation to the UN.
“To date,” he added, “we have not received any response from Pyongyang.”
The official, who spoke to CNN on condition of anonymity, explained that Biden’s attempts come after a year in which Washington has had no “active dialogue” with Pyongyang, despite repeated U.S. efforts.
In 2018, North Korea and the United States began a negotiation process that led to two summits between then-U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un: the first in June 2018 in Singapore and the second in February 2019 in Hanoi, which closed without agreement on the denuclearization process.
Subsequently, in December 2019, North Korea announced that it was suspending negotiations with the United States, although the Trump Administration tried to keep the dialogue open.
Biden, who took office on January 20th, has not yet explained what his approach to North Korea will be. For the time being, his administration has limited itself to reviewing policy towards that country, including possibilities for addressing its alleged nuclear program and ballistic missile launch.
As part of that process, the Executive has held meetings with former officials with experience in dealing with North Korea, including those who worked under the Trump Administration.
The review of the North Korea policy will be completed in the coming weeks, the official was quoted by CNN as saying.
Next week, the Secretaries of State and Defense, Antony Blinken and Austin Lloyd, will visit their two closest allies in the Far East, Japan and South Korea, who also played a central role in Trump’s negotiations with North Korea.