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North Korea missile launches a “daunting challenge” as Biden considers how to deal with Kim Jong Un

Beijing — North Korea test-fired what U.S. officers imagine have been two short-range ballistic missiles on Thursday. It was Kim Jong Un’s first such launch since President Joe Biden took workplace, and it got here simply hours earlier than his first scheduled solo information convention as commander-in-chief.

The projectiles, the launch of which might be a violation of United Nations sanctions on North Korea in the event that they’re confirmed to have been ballistic missiles, flew roughly 270 miles and landed within the Sea of Japan, based on South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Workers. 

“It’s a clear assertion of intimidation,” retired South Korean Lieutenant Normal Chun In-bum instructed CBS Information. He mentioned North Korea needed to point out the world they “usually are not certain by any outdoors guidelines. The 2 quick vary ballistic missiles might simply have been intermediate or longer-range missiles if [North] Korea supposed on doing so. That is going to go on and on till North Korea goes too far, and that is what I’m afraid of.” 

North Korea has test-fired many missiles through the years, and the regime typically assessments new and sitting U.S. presidents on this method to realize consideration and to point out anger. Thursday’s launch was the primary obvious check of a banned missile in a yr, and it got here simply days after the Kim regime’s first check of any weapons system since Mr. Biden took workplace.

Mr. Biden performed down the weekend check with a chuckle, however issued no touch upon Thursday’s launch forward of his information convention in Washington.

The U.S. navy’s Indo-Pacific Command mentioned in a press release that it was “conscious of North Korean missile launches” and would proceed monitoring the scenario and “consulting carefully with our allies and companions.”

“This exercise highlights the risk that North Korea’s illicit weapons program poses to its neighbors and the worldwide neighborhood,” the command mentioned. “The U.S. dedication to the protection of the Republic of Korea [South Korea] and Japan stays ironclad.”

Simply final week, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Secretary of Protection Lloyd Austin visited the capitals of each Japan and South Korea and harassed that denuclearization of the Korean peninsula remained a prime precedence for the brand new administration.

The Biden White Home is at the moment conducting a evaluation of its North Korea coverage, with an replace anticipated within the coming weeks. 

“It’s a daunting problem to the Biden administration,” mentioned Gained Gon Park, a professor of North Korean research at South Korea’s Ewha Girls’s College. 

“Earlier than finalizing its evaluation on the North Korean coverage, the Biden administration is compelled to reply the North Korean provocation,” he instructed CBS Information. “The Biden administration needs to emphasise the ideas and norms of worldwide order. Since North Korea’s ballistic missile is a particular violation of U.N. Decision 1874, they should summon the Safety Council and condemn North Korea.” 

North Korea has an extended historical past of leveraging missile launches to attempt to win concessions from Washington on the negotiating desk, typically demanding monetary support and different help. The nation is among the poorest on the earth and was reportedly grappling with famine and drought even earlier than the coronavirus pandemic struck.

“To be able to halt North Korea from advancing its nuclear and missile capabilities, it’s important for South Korea and the U.S. to convey North Korea again to the negotiating desk via the four-party talks involving China, South Korea, the U.S. and North Korea,” mentioned Seong-Chang Jeong, Director of the Heart for North Korean Research in South Korea. “Making North Korea quit its nuclear weapons, which the North considers important to its safety, is as near not possible as making Israel, India and Pakistan quit their very own nuclear weapons.”

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