President Joe Biden has still not responded after the North Korean regime launched a ballistic missile over the Sea of Japan this week.
On Thursday, South Korean officials confirmed the launch of a projectile. That event followed an earlier launch from last weekend.
North Korea has not officially commented on the missile launch, nor has Biden yet responded in any way. U.S. officials believe the missile that was launched was shown off during a military parade in January.
In a statement to NBC News, the office of the South Korean joint chiefs of staff confirmed the launches came from the South Hamgyong Province in North Korea early on Thursday. The office conformed one missile traveled 280 miles and reached an altitude of 37 miles.
South Korean officials stated they were “closely monitoring related activities in preparation of possible additional launches.”
“South Korean military has strengthened surveillance and security measures and is preparing total military preparedness while maintaining close cooperation with the U.S.,” the office added.
The South Korean joint chiefs of staff said the nation was working with the U.S. to compile a “detailed analysis for additional information.”
Senior Biden administration officials reportedly intend to meet with South Korean and Japanese officials about the launches next week.
Ahead of a visit to the region by Secretary of State Antony Blinken earlier this month, Kim Yo Jong unleashed on the Biden administration.
“We take this opportunity to warn the new U.S. administration trying hard to give off (gun) powder smell in our land,” she said, The Associated Press reported.
The North Korean official then called out the Biden administration in a not-so-subtle message about where relations between the two countries currently stand.
“If it wants to sleep in peace for coming four years, it had better refrain from causing a stink at its first step,” Yo Jong said.
The comments came after it was widely reported that the Biden administration had not been able to establish a line of communication with Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea.
“A senior official from the Biden administration said Saturday that U.S. officials have tried to reach out to North Korea through multiple channels since last month, but had yet to receive a response,” The AP reported.
“The official was not authorized to publicly discuss the diplomatic outreach and spoke on condition of anonymity.”
According to Politico, the Biden administration views relations with North Korea as the country’s top foreign policy issue, but has no immediate plans to directly respond in any way to any provocation by the nuclear-armed hermit state.
“As for the Pentagon, officials familiar with the discussions say military leaders have no immediate plans to respond or escalate — whether it’s by stepping up joint military exercises with South Korea or by raising the U.S. alert status in the region,” Politico reported on Friday.
The report stated that for now, Biden’s plan is to not directly respond to North Korea while relying on continued pressure from Trump administration-era sanctions against the country.
According to the outlet, Biden hopes to convince China — one of North Korea’s few allies — to apply pressure to officials in Pyongyang.
“I would hope that whatever happens going forward, China will use that influence effectively to work on moving North Korea to denuclearization,” Blinken said.
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