North Korea fired off two-short range missiles over the weekend, days after the sister of dictator Kim Jong Un warned the Biden administration against “causing a stink” in its dealings with the communist regime.
What are the details?
The Washington Post first reported on the missile tests, saying they represent Kim’s “first direct challenge to President [Joe] Biden, whose aides have not yet outlined their approach to the regime’s nuclear threat amid an ongoing review of the U.S.-North Korea policy.”
A U.S. official later confirmed that North Korea conducted the missile tests over the weekend.
Thus far, North Korea has ignored the Biden administration’s attempts to talk directly, but Kim’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, issued a statement via the country’s state-run news agency last week, CNN reported.
Ms. Kim’s statement read:
“We take this opportunity to warn the new US administration trying hard to give off powder smell in our land: If it wants to sleep in peace for (the) coming four years, it had better refrain from causing a stink at its first step.”
According to ABC News, North Korea also “recently complained publicly about a new round of American and South Korean military exercises taking place in South Korea.”
Also last week, North Korea’s first vice minister of foreign affairs, Choe Son Hui, issued a statement saying, “We have already declared our stand that no [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea]-U.S. contact and dialogue of any kind can be possible unless the U.S. rolls back its hostile policy towards the DPRK,” The Hill reported.
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.
Since then, the isolationist nation has not fired off long-range missiles, but continued to conduct short-range tests during the Trump administration.
Then, in October of last year, North Korea rolled out what appears to be one of the largest intercontinental ballistic missiles in the world during a military parade.
The commander of U.S. Northern Command, Gen. Glen VanHerck, told Congress last week in written testimony:
“The Kim Jong Un regime has achieved alarming success in its quest to demonstrate the capability to threaten the U.S. homeland with nuclear-armed ICBMs, believing such weapons are necessary to deter U.S. military action and ensure his regime’s survival.
“The North Korean regime has also indicated that it is no longer bound by the unilateral nuclear and ICBM testing moratorium announced in 2018, suggesting that Kim may begin flight testing an improved ICBM design in the near future.”