Blinken does not foresee 'grand bargain' on North Korea

Blinken does not foresee 'grand bargain' on North Korea
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Secretary of State Antony BlinkenAntony BlinkenTaliban push closer to front lines of two major Afghanistan cities US blames Iran for attack on oil tanker off Oman Biden ramps up pressure on Iran as it grapples with protests MORE said on Sunday that there was no "grand bargain" prepared when approaching nuclear talks with North Korea, saying instead that denuclearization of the Korean peninsula would likely take "clearly calibrated diplomacy."

When appearing on ABC's "This Week," Blinken was asked by host George StephanopoulosGeorge Robert StephanopoulosThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Jan. 6 probe, infrastructure to dominate week Sunday shows - Jan. 6 investigation dominates Senate Republican 'not happy' with Pelosi plan to delay infrastructure vote MORE whether nuclear weapons in North Korea are something the U.S. has to contend with, considering its arsenal has reportedly doubled in recent years.

"We don't, and we shouldn't, but let's be honest. This is a hard problem," Blinken said. "Previous administrations, Republican and Democrat alike, have tried to tackle it, and no one's fully succeeded to say the least. In fact, the program has gotten more advanced and more dangerous over time."

"I don't think there's going to be grand bargain where this gets resolved in one fell swoop," Blinked opined. "It's got to be clearly calibrated diplomacy, clear steps from the North Koreans, and it moves forward in that way."

South Korean president Moon Jae-In made a visit to the U.S. last week and met in-person with President BidenJoe BidenGOP report on COVID-19 origins homes in on lab leak theory READ: The .2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Senators introduce bipartisan infrastructure bill in rare Sunday session MORE. During their summit on Friday, North Korea was reportedly the top priority. Senior administration officials told The Hill that Biden reaffirmed the “ironclad” alliance the U.S. had with South Korea.

On the same day as his meeting with Moon, Biden appointed a special envoy to North Korea. The envoy, career diplomat Sung Kim, is an expert in North Korean policy.

"We both are deeply concerned about the situation," Biden said alongside Moon. "Our two nations also shared a willingness to engage diplomatically with the D.P.R.K. to take pragmatic steps that will reduce tensions as we move toward our ultimate goal of denuclearization of the Korean peninsula."