North Korea Test Fires Missiles In First Overt Challenge To Biden Administration

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's ambitious new plan for the next five years is aimed at developing North Korea's economy

President Joe Biden's administration has indicated that it is reviewing Washington's policy on North Korea's nuclear and missile development.

The North has so far ignored the Biden's administration's efforts to reach out, saying it won't engage in meaningful talks with the United States unless Washington abandons what Pyongyang sees as "hostile" policies, which clearly refers to the US -led sanctions and pressure over its nuclear program.

One US official told CNN that North Korea had launched short-range projectiles, possibly artillery or cruise missiles, not ballistic missiles - a key distinction that underscores the Biden administration's view that it does not qualify as a serious breach and will not prevent the US from pursuing diplomacy with Pyongyang.

Biden officials are now finalizing a strategy to restart talks that the White House will discuss with Japanese and South Korean security officials next week, the administration official said.

Biden, asked Tuesday what he'd learned about the test, told reporters before he boarded Air Force One in Ohio, "We have learned that there's nothing much that's changed".

But the personal diplomacy did not yield a denuclearization agreement, and North Korea has instead advanced its weapons program.

The Washington Post was first to report that the launches had taken place.

South Korea's spy agency told lawmakers late past year that North Korea's trade volume with China fell by 75 percent during the first 10 months of 2020.

North Korea tested a short-range weapons system last weekend, but the United States sees the move as "normal" military activity by Pyongyang and will leave the door open for dialogue, senior US government officials said Tuesday.

The launches followed joint exercises by the US and South Korean militaries earlier this month and came just days after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin visited Tokyo and Seoul to discuss alliance and security issues in the region, with the North seen as a central threat.

The messages come after senior USA diplomats visited Japan and South Korea before the meeting with their Chinese peers, as Washington seeks to shore up its alliances in Asia.

Relations between the USA and North Korea, once hailed as potentially promising after President Donald Trump's three meetings with Kim, have been tense with no substantive contact for more than a year. -South Korean military exercises and issued a warning to the Biden administration over the drills. Still, the country has refrained from nuclear tests, as well as intercontinental ballistic missile tests, since Kim's first summit with Trump.

"It is common practice for North Korea to test various systems", the official said.

"So history would indicate they'd do something in the first few months of a Biden administration as well", he said at the time.

"We are under no illusions about the difficulty this task presents to us".

None of the missiles fired were the new long-range ballistic missiles paraded on October 10, the anniversary of the founding of North Korea's communist party, officials told Fox News. Some analysts saw this as an indication that China would soon provide North Korea with badly needed food, fertilizer, and other aid that had been significantly reduced amid the pandemic border closures. We've had working groups. "The situation is also more challenging in Northeast Asia".

According to KCNA and China's Xinhua news agency, Xi in his own message to Kim described bilateral relations as a "valuable asset" to both countries and vowed to make unspecified contributions to the peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

Such a move would sharply increase tension between the United States and North Korea.



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