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HomeAsiaBiden’s message for Kim Jong Un, “Hello... period

Biden’s message for Kim Jong Un, “Hello… period

 Newsman: President Joe Biden said he “not concerned” about new North Korean nuclear tests but prepared for anything North Korea does. But his wry response when asked what message he had for Kim underscored the administration’s low-key approach to the unresolved tensions with North Korea.

Joe Biden, in Seoul before heading to Japan had a simple message for North Korea’s Kim Jong Un: “Hello… period,” he told reporters on the last day of his visit to South Korea on Sunday.

“We are prepared for anything North Korea does,” Biden said.

Biden said he was “not concerned” about new North Korean nuclear tests, which would be the first in nearly five years.

North Korea has resumed testing its largest intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), while intelligence reports suggest it is preparing for a new nuclear test.

A day earlier, Biden and his new South Korean counterpart, President Yoon Suk-yeol, agreed to consider bigger military exercises and potentially deploying more nuclear-capable American weapons to the region in response to the North’s weapons tests. 

North Korea has not responded to U.S. overtures, including offers of Covid-19 vaccines, Biden said on Saturday, noting that he was willing to sit down with Kim if he thought it would lead to a serious breakthrough. 

North Korea has said the U.S. overtures are insincere because Washington maintains “hostile policies” such as military drills and sanctions.

At a U.S. air base south of Seoul, Biden and Yoon toured an air operations centre. American and South Korean troops, behind large computer projectors showing maps of the border separating North and South Korea, are tasked with defending against any missiles the North might launch.

Yoon said such facilities are important given “increasing” threats from North Korea.

Biden later ate ice cream and greeted American troops and their families at a bowling alley on the base, before departing for Japan.

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