Biden says 'nothing much changed' despite N. Korean missile launches


The launches, which were first reported by the Washington Post today, mark the first known weapons test by North Korea since President Joe Biden took office and come as his administration is still mulling its options for dealing with regime's nuclear threat.

As North Korea resumed testing shorter range ballistic missiles after that agreement, the Trump administration said they did not violate the spirit of the agreement.

Beijing is also a key player for managing the effectiveness of the global sanctions regime put in place to punish Kim Jong Un for his test of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles in defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions.

The official added that the Biden administration does not view the weekend's missile tests as "closing that door" to such talks.

"We've learned nothing much has changed", Mr Biden said about North Korea in a brief exchange with reporters following a speech on health insurance in Columbus, Ohio.

The administration is in the "final stages" of its North Korea review, and national security adviser Jake Sullivan is scheduled to host his South Korean and Japanese counterparts for a meeting next week to discuss the outcomes, officials on the call said.

A top United States general last week had warned of the near-term possibility of a far more provocative move: a decision by North Korea to begin flight testing an improved design for its inter-continental ballistic missiles. That led to a shortage of raw materials that plunged the North's factory operations to their lowest level since Kim took power in late 2011, and a jump in the prices of imported foods like sugar and seasonings.

North Korea has been expected to conduct some sort of missile launch for weeks.

"We take this opportunity to warn the new USA administration trying hard to give off [gun] powder smell in our land", Kim Yo Jong said in a statement, referencing the joint military operations in the region.

In Seoul last week before meeting Chinese officials, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Biden's approach toward North Korea was still under review and stressed China's "clear self-interest" in getting its neighbor and Cold War ally back to the table.

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The officials say the USA will also hold bilateral meetings with Japan and South Korea.

Former President Donald Trump famously met with Kim in 2018, establishing a hand-shake deal wherein the North Korean dictator agreed to cease his government's testing of long-range missiles.

But the official added that Pyongyang can not expect concessions - such as cutting back on bilateral military exercises - from Biden. "There's no new wrinkle in what they did", he said.

"It is a normal part of the kind of testing that North Korea would do", the official said.

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

However, it is believed that in that time North Korea has progressed with its Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) technology, unveiling a new, large, mobile-launched ICBM in a military parade last October. We've had working groups.

"And all the while we've seen North Korea proceed ahead accordingly", the official added. You've got more tensions between Japan and South Korea, and of course U.S.

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.

Those targeted by the European Union sanctions are North Korea's State Security Minister Jong Kyong Thaek, Public Security Minister Ri Yong Gil and the Central Public Prosecutor's Office.