US says China has role to play in North Korea denuclearisation

Seoul, Mar 18 (efe-epa).- United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday that China had a “big role to play” in convincing North Korea to give up its military nuclear program.

At the end of security talks in Seoul, Blinken said Washington and its allies were engaged in a comprehensive review of their policy towards North Korea and peace process in the region that would be ready in the coming weeks.

The top US diplomat made these remarks at a joint press conference in Seoul with Defense Secretary Austin Lloyd and South Korean foreign and defense ministers Chung Eui-yong and Suh Wook.

The four leaders met as part of the so-called two-plus-two security dialog in the South Korean capital.

The press conference took place shortly after North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui said Pyongyang would continue to ignore Washington’s attempts to revive diplomatic contact until it changes its hostility.

The South Korean foreign minister commented directly on Choe’s remarks, saying the four discussed it briefly in their meeting.

He said North Korea might be reviewing its policy toward the US and was closely monitoring the dialogue between Seoul and Washington.

Chung said the two allies would continue to discuss the matter.

He said the South Korean government supported all efforts by the US to establish contact with North Korea.

Blinken insisted that the main objective of Lloyd and his trip about the North Korean strategy was to strengthen coordination with allies to prepare a review rather than respond to Pyongyang’s messages.

Blinken will meet Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Yang Jiechi, a senior member of Communist Party Politburo member in Alaska Wednesday.

He said China had a critical role in the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

He highlighted the Chinese equation with North Korea that gets 90 percent of its imports from its neighbor.

The denuclearization dialog with Pyongyang has stalled since the Hanoi summit in February 2019.

The stalemate occurred after Washington refused to lift sanctions because the North Korean disarmament offer was insufficient.

Following the failure of the Trump administration to resolve the conflict, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un urged Joe Biden’s new US government in January to propose new alternatives to resume the dialog, warning that Pyongyang was preparing new weapons tests. EFE-EPA


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