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US began outreach to North Korea last month: reports

US began outreach to North Korea last month: reports
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The United States began outreach to North Korea last month, a senior Biden administration official confirmed to The Hill.

“To reduce the risks of escalation, we reached out to the North Korean government through several channels starting in mid-February, including in New York,” the official said. “To date, we have not received any response from Pyongyang.”

The official said that despite multiple attempts by the U.S. to engage with Pyongyang, there hasn’t been any active dialogue for over a year.

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The outreach was first reported by Reuters on Saturday.

The development comes as the new administration is conducting a policy review regarding North Korea.

The administration official told The Hill that the interagency review includes “evaluation of all available options to address the increasing threat posed by North Korea to its neighbors and the broader international community.”

The official also said that the administration has consulted with many former officials involved in North Korean policy, including several from the Trump administration. It has also asked for input from allies in Japan and South Korea.

Biden notably called North Korean leader Kim Jong UnKim Jong UnThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Israel-Hamas carnage worsens; Dems face SALT dilemma Biden must tell Kim: Begin denuclearization, end dehumanization of North Koreans North Korea has much to consider — when, and if, talks resume MORE a “thug,” and said during a presidential debate in October that he would meet with Kim if “he would agree that he would be drawing down his nuclear capacity.”

Former President TrumpDonald TrumpGOP-led Maricopa County board decries election recount a 'sham' Analysis: Arpaio immigration patrol lawsuit to cost Arizona county at least 2 million Conservatives launch 'anti-cancel culture' advocacy organization MORE held two formal summits with Kim. The first ended with Trump and Kim signing a joint statement in which North Korea pledged to “work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.”  But the second ended without a denuclearization deal.

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CBS News reported in early February the U.N. Security Council found that that despite international sanctions, North Korea continued its nuclear development program through 2020.

The Associated Press noted that the Security Council also found that North Korea had stolen about $316.4 million since 2019 through cyberattacks to fund development for nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

--Updated on March 14 at 11:47 a.m.