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Sunday, May 9, 2021

U.S. plays down North Korean missile test

Duration: 01:35s 0 shares 6 views
U.S. plays down North Korean missile test
U.S. plays down North Korean missile test

North Korea fired two short-range missiles at the weekend, U.S. and South Korean officials said, but Washington played down the first such tests under President Joe Biden and said it was still open to dialogue with Pyongyang.

Gloria Tso reports.

North Korea fired off two short-range missiles over the weekend, U.S. officials said on Tuesday, marking the first such tests since the start of the Biden administration.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff confirmed on Wednesday they had detected the tests and monitored them in real time, though they had not acknowledge them until days later.

Washington has played down the tests, and insisted it will remain open to dialogue with Pyongyang.

The tests come after North Korea refused repeated U.S. attempts at contact since mid-February.

U.S. President Joe Biden was asked about the tests by reporters in Ohio on Tuesday: "We have learned that there's nothing much has changed." A top U.S. general last week warned North Korea may soon begin flight testing an improved design for its inter-continental ballistic missiles, a provocative move that would further inflame tensions with Washington.

North Korea hasn't tested an ICBM or nuclear weapon in over three years, but has continued testing short-range missiles since talks with the Trump administration broke down in 2019.

It's since developed its nuclear and ballistic missile programs over the past year in violation of international sanctions, according to U.N.


Senior U.S. officials say the Biden administration is in the "final stages" of a full review of U.S. policy towards North Korea, and will host discussions with allies Japan and South Korea next week.


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