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Blinken wins Senate confirmation as secretary of state

Jan. 27, 2021 - 09:01 By Yonhap
US Secretary of State-designate Antony Blinken is seen speaking at a Senate confirmation hearing in Washington on Jan. 19, 2021, in this AP photo. (AP-Yonhap)
WASHINGTON -- Antony Blinken was expected to take office as the new secretary of state on Tuesday after the Senate confirmed his nomination.

The Senate voted 78 to 22 to confirm the former deputy secretary of state as the country's new top diplomat.

Blinken was nominated to the top post at the Department of State in late November, along with other top officials of the new administration's national security and foreign relations teams that included Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines.

Blinken underwent a Senate confirmation hearing last Tuesday, the day before Joe Biden took office as president.

Blinken earlier said the Biden administration will work with traditional allies, such as South Korea, to restore US global leadership and tackle global challenges that include a nuclear-armed North Korea.

"Together, we are far better positioned to counter threats posed by Russia, Iran and North Korea and to stand up for democracy and human rights," Blinken said earlier of US allies.

He also said the new administration will review the country's "entire approach and policy" toward North Korea and find a way to bring the country back to the negotiating table.

"But that starts with consulting closely with our allies and partners, particularly with South Korea and with Japan and others," he has said.

North Korea has been staying away from denuclearization talks since leader Kim Jong-un's second meeting with former US President Donald Trump ended without a deal in February 2019. The first Trump-Kim summit was in June 2018.

Blinken will likely be sworn in by Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday. Such ceremonies have so far taken place one day after a nominee is confirmed by the Senate. (Yonhap)