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Robert O'Brien: Trump administration has “reached out to the North Koreans” – Axios

Axios reports that White House national security adviser Robert O'Brien told Axios that the Trump administration has "reached out to the North Koreans" to ask them to resume diplomacy that has been all but dead since October.

Key comments

  • "We've reached out to the North Koreans and let them know that we would like to continue the negotiations in Stockholm that were last undertaken in early October.
  • "We've been letting them know, through various channels, that we would like to get those [negotiations] back on track and to implement Chairman Kim's commitment" to denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," Robert O'Brien told Axios.
  • Kim "promised to send a Christmas present," O'Brien said. "The president suggested he send him a vase. We didn't get a vase or any other sort of Christmas gift. That appears to be positive."
  • "All we know is we were told we were going to get a Christmas gift and the Christmas gift didn't come. And so I think that was an encouraging sign. But, again, that doesn't mean we won't see some sort of test in the future," O'Brien added.
  • "The United States has never faced a peer competitor like China," O'Brien said. "Because of its population, because of its political system, because of its economy ... and because of its global ambitions and clear goal to dominate world trade and the world economy, China must be taken very seriously."
  • "We have to be strong enough so that no one would dare challenge us militarily, including the PRC [People's Republic of China]."

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