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North Korea conducted two short-range projectile launches over the weekend, in the country’s first weapons test since President Biden took office, multiple outlets reported.
North Korea launched short-range projectiles, possibly artillery or cruise missiles, a U.S. official told CNN. The tests were conducted after the country criticized the Biden administration for conducting joint military exercises with South Korea, people familiar with the matter told the Washington Post.
Dictator Kim Jong-Un’s sister, Kim Yo-Jun, warned last week that if the Biden administration “wants to sleep in peace for the coming four years, it had better refrain from causing a stink.”
Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan called for the “complete denuclearization of North Korea” during a visit to Japan last week.
The test did not involve ballistic missiles or nuclear weapons. North Korea has not tested either of those weapons since 2018, when former President Trump met with Kim Jong-Un at a summit in Singapore. Subsequent negotiations between the U.S. and North Korea ended in a breakdown in talks, and analysts believe that North Korea has continued its nuclear weapons development program.
Biden officials have been seeking to restart talks with North Korea, and have consulted with Trump administration officials who were present at the Singapore summit, according to the Associated Press. However, the North Korea has not opted to open discussions, a senior Biden official said.