Hello... period: Biden to DPRK leader Kim from S.Korea amid tensions
US President Joe Biden greeted his North Korean counterpart from across the borders in South Korea as tensions flare up with Pyongyang.
US President Joe Biden, during his first trip to Asia since taking office in January of last year, said: "Hello... period," to his the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) counterpart, Kim Jong Un, from across the border in South Korea before leaving for Japan, the next stop in his trip.
Biden underlined that he had no concerns about DPRK's missile tests, a first in nearly five years for the United States.
The "hello" was a response to questions about what message he had for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) leader, which highlighted the Biden administration's approach to unresolved tensions with Pyongyang, which comes as a stark contrast to the former administration's approach. Neither approach has resulted in a breakthrough for the United States, which aspires to halt the DPRK missile tests as the latter grapples with severe sanctions from Washington and its allies.
“We are prepared for anything DPRK does,” Biden said, a day after he and his new South Korean counterpart, President Yoon Suk-yeol, agreed to consider conducting military exercises on a larger scale. The two also agreed to potentially deploy more nuclear-capable American weapons to the region as a means of "deterring" the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).
Seoul had voiced concerns that the DRPK could "stage a provocation" during Biden's visit to the country.
President Biden said Saturday he would sit down with leader Kim Jong Un if he thought it would lead to a major breakthrough in the bilateral relations between the two countries. He also claimed that Pyongyang had not responded to Washington's advances toward mending ties, which included offers of Covid-19 vaccines. A senior US official said Covid-19 restrictions might have played a role in the lack of response.
DPRK underlined that it viewed the US overtures as insincere due to Washington upholding "hostile policies", such as military drills and sanctions.
On the second leg of the trip, Biden will meet with leaders of Japan, India, and Australia, a grouping known as the Quad. This comes as part of the Biden administration's policies to curb China's growing influence in the region and around the globe, as the world sees a new power shift.
The United States sent a request to hold a meeting of the United Nations Security Council earlier this month on the situation with DPRK's missile tests.
According to the South Korean Committee of Chiefs of Staff, DPRK launched one short-range ballistic missile at the Sea of Japan just days earlier. It flew for roughly 600 kilometers and reached a maximum altitude of 60 kilometers.
US Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley underlined that his country was being tested in Europe through the war in Ukraine, "in Asia by China’s dramatic economic and military growth as well as DPRK’s nuclear and missile threats, and in the Middle East and Africa by instability from terrorists," the Associated Press quoted him as saying.