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‘Ready to dust off options prepared against N. Korea in 2017,’ says U.S. official

‘Ready to dust off options prepared against N. Korea in 2017,’ says U.S. official

Posted December. 19, 2019 07:48,   

Updated December. 19, 2019 07:48


Stephen Biegun, the U.S. Special Representative for North Korea and nominee for deputy secretary of state, will visit China on Thursday and Friday following his visit to South Korea and Japan. He will begin diplomatic efforts to prevent North Korea’s “Christmas gift,” which is likely to refer to the launching of long-range missiles, such as intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

The State Department said the special envoy will “meet with (Chinese) officials to discuss the need to maintain international unity on North Korea” in a news release on Tuesday (local time). A visit to China was not part of his original schedule in Asia.

Some experts believe that it is Washington’s efforts to prevent the possibility of North Korea’s nuclear tests and long-range missile launches, which have been presented as the diplomatic achievements of U.S. President Donald Trump facing a presidential election next year. In addition, Biegun is expected to call for China’s cooperation with the international community’s efforts to maintain sanctions against North Korea as the visit to China was added one day after China and Russia submitted a draft resolution to the United Nations calling for the ease of the sanctions. Biegun will meet his Chinese counterpart, Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui, and others to urge Beijing to implement North Korean sanctions and convince and put pressure on North Korea to stop its provocations.