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U.S. needs to work with China to denuclearize N. Korea: report

04:21 July 17, 2021

By Byun Duk-kun

WASHINGTON, July 16 (Yonhap) -- The United States will need to work with China in its efforts to denuclearize North Korea, a State Department official said Friday.

The official also noted Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman may visit China during her upcoming trip to Asia that is currently scheduled to take her only to Japan, South Korea and Mongolia, according to a report by Reuters.

"The DPRK is one area where we may work with (China) because you can't do a solution (without them)," the department official was quoted as telling Reuters, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The official added there was "no doubt that any way forward" with North Korea would require the help of China, according to the report.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also noted Sherman may add a visit to China to her itinerary for her upcoming trip.

China is North Korea's closest ally, as well as its largest trade partner, accounting for some 90 percent of North Korean imports and exports, which many believe gives Beijing more leverage with Pyongyang than any others, including South Korea.

North Korea has stayed away from denuclearization talks with the United States since leader Kim Jong-un's Hanoi summit with former U.S. President Donald Trump ended without a deal in February 2019.

The Joe Biden administration has repeatedly reached out to Pyongyang for dialogue since it took office in January, but the reclusive North remains unresponsive to U.S. overtures.

The State Department's principal deputy spokesperson, Jalina Porter, said she had no updates on the U.S. outreach to the North when asked at a press briefing on the day.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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