US Secretary of State Blinken weighs possible sanctions against North Korea as Russia, Iran loom

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – The Biden administration would consider new sanctions against North Korea as well as other possible actions against Russia, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a television interview on Monday (Feb 1) as it continued its foreign policy review.

Blinken told NBC News the tools aimed at denuclearising the Korean Peninsula include additional sanctions in coordination with US allies, as well as diplomatic incentives he did not specify.

Blinken said he was “deeply disturbed by the violent crackdown” on Russian protesters and arrests of people across the country demanding the release of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

“The Russian government makes a big mistake if it believes that this is about us,” he said in the interview.

“It’s about them. It’s about the government. It’s about the frustration that the Russian people have with corruption, with autocracy, and I think they need to look inward, not outward.”

In the interview, taped on Sunday, Blinken did not commit to specific sanctions against Moscow.

He said he was reviewing a response to the actions against Navalny, as well as Russian election interference in 2020, the Solar Wind Hack and alleged bounties for US soldiers in Afghanistan. “The president could not have been clearer in his conversation with President (Vladimir) Putin,” Blinken said of President Joe Biden’s telephone call last week with the Russian leader.

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