Joe Biden: US ready for North Korea’s nuclear test

Joe Biden during his visit to South Korea. © AFP

US President Joe Biden is preparing for a possible nuclear test by North Korea. He said this on Sunday in the South Korean capital, Seoul, before leaving for Japan. At the same time, he reiterated his desire to enter into a dialogue with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.


“We are ready for anything North Korea can do,” Biden said, stressing that he was not concerned about a possible North Korean nuclear test. When asked by a reporter if he had a message for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the president replied curtly: “Hello. Point.”

It was Biden’s way of making clear that Washington remains open to dialogue with North Korea, even if there is no reciprocity. Talks with Pyongyang have stalled since the failed 2019 summit between Kim and then US President Donald Trump.

Asian tour

Biden left South Korea early Sunday afternoon for Japan, another major US ally in the region and the second leg of his first Asian tour as president.

In Seoul, he met his counterpart Yoon Seok Yeol, a pro-American conservative who came to power in early May. The two heads of state talked about the intensification of joint military exercises between them.

The seventh test in history

South Korea’s intelligence agency has warned that North Korea has finished preparing for a nuclear test. It will be the seventh in history and the first in five years. It is not impossible that the test will take place before the end of the US President’s visit to Asia.

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North Korea, whose population has not yet been vaccinated against Covid-19, is currently battling the coronavirus outbreak, with nearly 2.6 million cases and 67 deaths, according to the latest official figures.

Denton Watson

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