President Joe Biden said on Tuesday night that North Korea’s test of a short-range missile system is “business as usual.”
The reclusive communist regime conducted its first missile test of the Biden presidency over the weekend, according to two senior White House officials who briefed reporters on the condition of anonymity.
Biden was later asked if the missile test was a provocation.
“No, according to the Defense Department, it’s business as usual. There’s no new wrinkle in what they did,” Biden said.
Asked if the weapons test would affect diplomacy, Biden chuckled and walked away.
The missile test was conducted just days after the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un threatened the United States and South Korea for conducting join military exercises.
North Korea has ignored offers from the Biden administration to resume negotiations. Secretary of State Antony Blinken last week pressed China to use its “tremendous influence” to convince North Korea to abandon its nuclear program.
The short-range tests conducted over the weekend are not in violation of any U.N. Security Council resolutions, according to the White House officials.
South Korea’s Defense Ministry said it detected two cruise missile launches from North Korea’s west coast on Sunday morning.
South Korean lawmaker Ha Tae-keung said in a Facebook posting that he was told by agency officials from Seoul’s spy agency that the North fired two cruise missiles off its western seaport of Nampo around 6:36 a.m. on March 21. Ha, an executive secretary of the National Assembly’s intelligence committee, which regularly receives closed-door briefings from the spy agency, said he was told that the U.S. and South Korean militaries had detected the launches but had agreed not to publicize them.
Kim Yo Jong’s statement was issued as Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin arrived in Asia to talk with U.S. allies Japan and South Korea about North Korea and other regional issues.
Former President Donald Trump was the first U.S. president to set foot on North Korean soil. Trump and Kim met three times. Pyongyang appears to have not conducted any nuclear or long-range missile tests since 2017.
From The Epoch Times