The Biden administration launched a behind-the-scenes push last month to reach out to North Korea through multiple channels, a senior administration official has told CNN, but thus far Pyongyang has been unresponsive.
“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. This follows over a year without active dialogue with North Korea, despite multiple attempts by the US to engage.”
The official did not provide further details of what the outreach entailed but noted the administration has been conducting its interagency review of the United States’ policy towards North Korea, “including evaluation of all available options to address the increasing threat posed by North Korea to its neighbors and the broader international community.”
During the review process, the administration has consulted with former government officials with experience in North Korea policy, including some officials from the Trump administration, the official said. The US has also been in touch with allies from Japan and South Korea.
“We look forward to completing our intensive, multi-stakeholder policy review in the coming weeks,” the official said.
Reuters first reported the outreach efforts on Saturday.
News of the outreach comes as lawmakers and key US allies are eagerly awaiting details about Biden’s North Korea policy, which they expect will be announced publicly in the coming weeks when the administration has completed a policy review, according to multiple sources familiar with the internal discussions.
Satellite imagery obtained by CNN reveals North Korea has recently taken steps to conceal a facility that US intelligence agencies believe is being used to store nuclear weapons.