White House: North Korea has conducted short-range missile test
(Sourced from PTI)
North Korea fired short-range missiles this past weekend, days after Kim Jong Un's sister threatened the United States and South Korea for holding joint military exercises. Two senior Biden administration officials confirmed the missile tests. North Korea has ignored offers to resume negotiations, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken last week pressed China to convince North Korea to abandon its nuclear program.
The officials, however, sought to downplay the significance of the missile tests, noting that they are not covered by UN Security Council resolutions meant to deter North Korea from pursuing a nuclear program. Relations between the US and North Korea, once hailed as potentially promising after former president Donald Trump's three meetings with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, have been tense lately.
The last face-to-face talks between senior officials from the two countries were held in Sweden in October 2019 and efforts by the Biden administration to resume a dialogue have been rebuffed since February. Since Trump's first meeting with Kim in Singapore in 2018, the North has not conducted nuclear or long-range missile tests, although they have pressed ahead with their programs on both.
North Korea has not been in contact with the US for more than a year, spanning two administrations. Biden administration officials have been consulting with Trump administration officials who took part in the Singapore talks and in a second meeting between Kim and Trump in February 2019. The Biden administration does not view the weekend's missile tests as closing the door to talks.