U.S.' N.Korea Point Man in Beijing for Talks

  • By O Youn-hee, Ahn Jun-yong

    March 26, 2019 12:01

    U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun arrived in China on Sunday, where he was set to meet with his Chinese counterpart Kong Xuanyou.

    The visit is part of Biegun's tour to discuss what to do next after the summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Hanoi collapsed last month.

    Diplomatic sources say Biegun may also try to visit North Korea now that Trump has slammed the brakes on fresh sanctions against the renegade country. Trump last week tweeted he was revoking fresh Treasury Department sanctions on Chinese firms that have been helping the North dodge sanctions. 

    U.S. President Donald Trump (left) speaks during a meeting with senior officials including Stephen Biegun (3rd from left), the special representative for North Korea, in Washington on Aug. 24, 2018 in this photo tweeted by the White House.

    Some Republican Party officials were taken aback by Trump's tweet. Senator Marco Rubio, a rival of Trump's in the presidential primaries, told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday, "I think people around the world would look at it and say from now on, when they hear about sanctions, they're going to ask for a double confirmation from the White House."

    And Senator Cory Gardner, who chairs the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific and International Cybersecurity Policy, warned against a possible weakening of pressure against North Korea. "Maximum pressure means sanctioning North Korea's enablers. Treasury was right -- sanctions should be imposed... Strategic Patience failed. Don't repeat it," he tweeted. 

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