Geum Yi

U.S. must use every tool to prevent N. Korea from advancing nuclear capability: Sherman

March 3, 2021

 The United States has to use every tool available, including pressure, to prevent North Korea from advancing its nuclear capability, a top State Department appointee said Wednesday.

Wendy Sherman, deputy secretary-designate, also highlighted the importance of China’s cooperation in applying maximum pressure on the North.

“Because I have been out of the government, I don’t know all that is in place now, but certainly we do want to ensure that North Korea understands that unless it comes to the table to really make progress in denuclearization that we will use every tool that we have to prevent them from doing so,” Sherman said at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.


The former under secretary of state noted the government was going through an extensive review of U.S. policy toward North Korea that will determine the new administration’s approach.

Still, the seasoned diplomat stressed the importance of working with allies and partners, including China.

“I certainly want China not to be playing an adverse role in that process,” she said.

She reiterated the importance of working with allies and partners when asked what steps the U.S. must take to denuclearize North Korea.

“It needs to be done with partners and allies in the region, particularly Japan and South Korea. but with everyone who has a stake in ensuring that Kim Jong-un does not develop even more nuclear weapons, greater delivery systems and pose even a greater threat to the region and to the world,” said Sherman, referring to the North Korean leader.

North Korea recently unveiled a series of new weapons of mass destruction that included a longer-range ballistic missile and submarine-launched ballistic missile.

Kim has also vowed to advance his country’s delivery systems.

“I understand that (North Korea policy) review is ongoing and if confirmed, I would be glad to be talking with everyone here more about it,” said Sherman.