- The Washington Times - Friday, April 30, 2021

The White House said Friday it completed a review of its North Korea policy and will continue to seek denuclearization but strike a middle-ground between the strategies that President Biden’s predecessors deployed with little success.

White Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the Biden team spoke to experts in past administrations and foreign allies in forging the strategy.

“Our goal remains the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula with the clear understanding that the efforts of the past four administrations have not achieved this objective,” she said.

Former President Donald Trump famously met with North Korean Kim Jong Un in Singapore and Hanoi, hoping he could use his personal relationship with the strongman to strike a deal.

The Obama administration took a more aloof approach during Mr. Biden’s time as vice president, hoping North Korea would change its belligerent behavior before engaging on a diplomatic level.

“Our policy will not focus on achieving a grand bargain, nor will it rely on strategic patience,” Ms. Psaki told reporters. “Our policy calls for a calibrated, practical approach that is open to and will explore diplomacy with [North Korea] and to make practical progress that increases the security of the United States, our allies and deployed forces.”

Ms. Psaki said the White House is in ongoing contact with East Asian allies and that Mr. Biden spoke about North Korea with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga during his White House visit earlier this month.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who made relations with the north a cornerstone of his agenda, will come to Washington in May 21. He hopes the visit will kickstart negotiations with North Korea.

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