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Friday, March 26, 2021, 09:56
Biden warns against DPRK escalation, offers diplomacy
By Xinhua
Friday, March 26, 2021, 09:56 By Xinhua

US President Joe Biden speaks during his first press briefing in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on March 25, 2021. Biden said Thursday that the United States will "respond accordingly" if North Korea escalates its missile testing. (JIM WATSON / AFP)

WASHINGTON - US President Joe Biden Thursday warned the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) not to escalate the situation while saying he is prepared to conduct diplomacy with Pyongyang.

In his first formal press conference since taking office, Biden told reporters that DPRK missile tests on Wednesday violated UN Security Council Resolution 1718.

"We are consulting with our allies and partners, and there will be responses if they choose to escalate, we will respond accordingly," he said.

When asked if the DPRK ranked the top foreign policy issue for his administration, Biden replied, "yes."

"But I'm also prepared for some form of diplomacy, but it has to be conditioned upon the end result of denuclearization," he added.

When asked if the DPRK ranked the top foreign policy issue for his administration, Biden replied, "yes."

READ MORE: ROK: DPRK fired 2 unidentified projectiles into East Sea

Senior US officials said Wednesday that the DPRK fired two short-range ballistic missiles off its east coast. The launch followed Pyongyang's test of two short-range weapons on Sunday, which the Biden administration downplayed as normal military activity.

These tests came after the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the United States conducted their annual springtime military exercises from March 8 to 18.

US officials said Tuesday that the Biden administration is in the final stages of its policy review regarding the DPRK. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan will discuss the issue with his counterparts in Japan and South Korea next week.

Biden administration downplayed DPRK's two short-range tests as normal military activity

The White House said earlier this month that the Biden administration recently reached out to Pyongyang but had not yet received any response.

A top diplomat of the DPRK vowed that Pyongyang would ignore US outreach until Washington "rolls back its hostile policy," the official Korean Central News Agency reported last Thursday.

ALSO READ: DPRK slams EU sanctions over human rights

"We have already declared our stand that no DPRK-US contact and dialogue of any kind can be possible unless the US rolls back its hostile policy towards the DPRK. Therefore, we will disregard such an attempt of the US in the future, too," DPRK First Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui said. 

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