North Korea fired at least one missile over the weekend, U.S. officials say

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  perrie-halpern  •  3 weeks ago  •  16 comments

By:   Andrea Mitchell, Dan De Luce, Abigail Williams and Dareh Gregorian

North Korea fired at least one missile over the weekend, U.S. officials say
North Korea carried out a missile test over the weekend, U.S. officials said. The test appeared to be the first of Biden's presidency.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



WASHINGTON — North Korea fired at least one missile over the weekend, two U.S. officials told NBC News Tuesday.

It marks the first report of such activity since Joe Biden was sworn in as president.

Officials declined to say what type of missile was fired or where it landed. It was unclear why South Korea's government had yet to comment on the missile launch. Officials in Seoul typically issue statements after North Korean missile or nuclear tests, and the North Korean government has been known to brag about them, as well.

Asked by reporters what he could say about the incident, Biden said, "We have learned that nothing much has changed."

A senior administration official told reporters that the type of weapon that was fired over the weekend is not covered by United Nations resolutions. "While we take all military activity seriously," the official said, the test falls under "the category of normal military activities" by Pyongyang.

The missile launch, which was first reported by The Washington Post, came days after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's sister, Kim Yo Jong, issued a statement warning the Biden administration not to proceed with planned joint military exercises with South Korea.

"If it wants to sleep in peace for [the] coming four years, it had better refrain from causing a stink at its first step," she said, according to The Associated Press.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin were in South Korea last week as part of their regional tour aimed at boosting America's Asian alliances, and Blinken called out Pyongyang's history of human rights abuse.

"The authoritarian regime in North Korea continues to commit systematic and widespread abuses against its own people," Blinken said at the start of his meeting with South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong. "We must stand with people demanding their fundamental rights and freedoms and against those who repress them."

He also called North Korea's nuclear and missile programs "a threat to the region and to the world."

NBC News Korean Affairs Analyst Victor Cha said it appears that North Korea is trying to test the new administration, and it was anticipated they would try to put some pressure on the administration following Blinken's trip.

A senior administration official described the military activity as one from "a familiar menu of provocations," adding that "what took place last weekend is falling on the low end of that spectrum."

Responding to a reporter's question as he returned to the White House from Ohio, the president said the Defense Department had called the missile firing "business as usual. There's no new wrinkle in what they did."

North Korea has performed multiple short range missile tests over the last few years that the Trump administration dismissed as not being important, despite their being a violation of United Nations resolutions.

State Department spokesman Jalina Porter, while not referring to the missile launch, said Tuesday that "the Biden administration is currently reviewing our approach when it comes to a broader North Korea policy."

"The United States has a vital interest in deterring North Korea, defending against provocations or use of force, living within the reach of its most dangerous weapons programs involve keeping Americans safe and keeping our allies and partners in the region, safe," Porter said.

Officials described the U.S. review of North Korean policy as being in its "final stages."

Senior administration members had consulted Trump officials at some point in their review on what transpired over the last four years. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has invited his counterparts from Japan and South Korea to Washington next week for meetings on North Korea

U.S.-led diplomacy on North Korea's nuclear program has been in limbo since a February 2019 summit between President Donald Trump and Kim collapsed over disputes surrounding sanctions. Kim has since threatened to enlarge his nuclear arsenal in protest of what he called U.S. hostility.

Blinken said last week that Washington had reached out to North Korea through several channels starting in mid-February, but it hadn't received any response. He said the Biden administration was looking both at possible "additional pressure measures" and "diplomatic paths."

At a Pentagon briefing Tuesday, press secretary John Kirby declined to comment on the missile launch.

andrea_mitchell1_09f60472bdd4227431dfc0464ace49fa.focal-100x100.jpg Andrea Mitchell

Andrea Mitchell is chief Washington correspondent and chief foreign affairs correspondent for NBC News.

Dan De Luce

Dan De Luce is a reporter for the NBC News Investigative Unit.

abigail-williams-circle-byline-template_360bf80790cedcb85164a8a9f9590d04.focal-100x100.jpg Abigail Williams

Abigail Williams is a producer and reporter for NBC News covering the State Department.

190612-dareh_gregorian-byline-30871_0723026c266d04d90e531bea6847922e.focal-100x100.jpg Dareh Gregorian

Dareh Gregorian is a politics reporter for NBC News.

Mosheh Gains contributed.


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Greg Jones
Masters Participates
1  Greg Jones    3 weeks ago

Little Fatass Kim is prodding, probing, and testing dear leader Biden for points of weakness.

 
 
 
devangelical
PhD Principal
1.1  devangelical  replied to  Greg Jones @1    3 weeks ago

awwww, he misses his bff trumpski calling him...

 
 
 
Texan1211
PhD Principal
1.2  Texan1211  replied to  Greg Jones @1    3 weeks ago

Can an Obama-like "red line" be in the near future?

LMAO!

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
Masters Quiet
1.2.1  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  Texan1211 @1.2    3 weeks ago

You mean those red lines he drew in a surf line that just faded away with the tide?

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
Masters Quiet
1.3  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  Greg Jones @1    3 weeks ago

That won't be much or take very long.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
Professor Expert
1.4  FLYNAVY1  replied to  Greg Jones @1    3 weeks ago

With denuclearization now unrealistic, there remains a working example that contains N.Korea as long as we have the patience until internal dynamics change. That example is NATO which accepted a nuclear reality yet patiently outlasted the Warsaw Pact.

So enough with kissing Kim’s ring and enough with reacting to his every parade and rhetorical flourish. Simply maintain the current U.S. presence in S.Korea, assist Japan with BMD, and otherwise ignore Kim until he desperately ’gifts’ major concessions as a precondition of any diplomacy or aid..   We can wait him out.

 
 
 
expatingb
Freshman Quiet
2  expatingb    3 weeks ago

Why not?  After the Chinese delegation embarrassed the Biden administration Secretary of State Antony Blinken and by extension, America, on American soil, they went back to China crowing about how they won the engagement and then immediately signed a deal with North Korea.

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
2.1  Tessylo  replied to  expatingb @2    3 weeks ago

"After the Chinese delegation embarrassed the Biden administration Secretary of State Antony Blinken and by extension, America, on American soil,"

They did no such thing.

[Deleted]

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
Masters Quiet
2.1.1  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  Tessylo @2.1    3 weeks ago

Yes, they most certainly did. And the Biden administration officials just stood there and took it.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
PhD Quiet
2.1.2  Ozzwald  replied to  Tessylo @2.1    3 weeks ago
They did no such thing.

They're just comparing it to Trump's response to Xi Jinping.

Donald Trump says he and China’s Xi Jinping ‘love each other’

trump-xi.jpg?w=1600&h=1600&q=88&f=9633652a45a7324fa99e96222f817e02

 
 
 
Hallux
Freshman Expert
3  Hallux    3 weeks ago

Meh ... what took them so long?

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
3.1  Trout Giggles  replied to  Hallux @3    3 weeks ago

Took that long for the bottle to get there

 
 
 
Texan1211
PhD Principal
4  Texan1211    3 weeks ago

Well, here is Joe Biden's best chance to return to his glory days.

Watch Joe handle Kim like he did old Corn Pop!

 
 
 
Ozzwald
PhD Quiet
4.1  Ozzwald  replied to  Texan1211 @4    3 weeks ago

Watch Joe handle Kim like he did old Corn Pop!

He is currently handling like you would anyone throwing a tantrum.  Ignore him.  Keep an eye on him from a distance, but do not give him the attention he is so desperate to get.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
Professor Expert
4.1.1  FLYNAVY1  replied to  Ozzwald @4.1    3 weeks ago

Which is the best option....  don't engage.

 
 
 
Ender
PhD Principal
4.1.3  Ender  replied to  Ozzwald @4.1    3 weeks ago

Better than sending love letters...

 
 
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