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Biden says US prepared to respond if North Korea fires nuke

Joe Biden. (Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)
May 23, 2022

President Joe Biden said on Sunday that the U.S. is prepared to respond if North Korea conducts a nuclear test while he travels around Asia.

During a press conference while visiting South Korea on Sunday, Biden was asked if he’s concerned that North Korea may carry out a nuclear weapons test while he’s traveling between Asian countries. Biden said, “We are prepared for anything North Korea does.”

“We’ve thought through how we’d respond to whatever they do, and so I am not concerned, if that’s what you’re suggesting,” Biden added.

Biden offered his comments as North Korea has conducted several high-profile weapons tests in recent months. In March, North Korea conducted multiple tests of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) components before carrying out its first full test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in four years.

Earlier this month, North Korea fired another unidentified projectile into the Sea of Japan.

North Korea conducted another series of short-range ballistic missile launches just days before Biden arrived in South Korea.

Earlier in his South Korea visit, Biden said “[South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol] and I committed to strengthening our close engagement and work together to take on challenges of regional security, including addressing the threat posed by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea by further strengthening our deterrence posture and working toward a complete denuclearization of the prin- — of the Korean Peninsula.”

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is the official name of the North Korean government.

During his visit, Biden declined to visit the demilitarized zone (DMZ), which separates North and South Korea.

North Korea has recently seen an outbreak of COVID-19 and has reported its first death from the virus, which has impacted the rest of the world for the past two years.

During a Saturday press conference in South Korea, Biden was asked if he would impose any preconditions before meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un or providing COVID-19 vaccines to the country.

“Would I provide vaccines for North Korea and would I prepare to meet: The answer is yes,” Biden said. “We’ve offered vaccines not only to North Korea but to China as well, and we’re prepared to do that immediately.  We’ve gotten no response.”

“With regard to whether I would meet with the leader of North Korea, that would be dependent on whether he was sincere and whether it was serious,” Biden added.

On Sunday, Biden continued onto Japan during his ongoing tour of Asia.