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Tuesday, 11 May 2021

North Korea says Biden took the 'wrong first step'

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North Korea says Biden took the 'wrong first step'
North Korea says Biden took the 'wrong first step'

North Korea said on Saturday that the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden had taken a wrong first step and revealed "deep-seated hostility" by criticising its self-defensive missile test.

Gloria Tso reports.

North Korea said Saturday that U.S. President Joe Biden's administration had taken the "wrong first step" in criticizing Pyongyang's latest missile test.

North Korea said Friday it had launched a new type of short-range ballistic missile, its first such test in a year and since Biden took office.

Biden on Thursday called the reported tests a violation of U.N.

Security Council resolutions, but insisted that he remained open to diplomacy with Pyongyang.

In a statement carried by state news agency KCNA Saturday, top North Korean official Ri Pyong Chol ripped into Biden's "thoughtless remarks," calling them an "undisguised enroachment on our state's right to self-defence," and a revelation of "deep-seated hostility." Ri added that "We are by no means developing weapons to draw someone's attention or influence his policy," accusing the Biden administration of "exploiting every opportunity" to provoke Pyongyang by branding it as a "security threat." Pyongyang's latest test came just days after a visit to South Korea by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who vowed to work to denuclearize North Korea and criticized its "systemic and widespread" human rights abuses.

North Korea has slammed the joint U.S. military exercises with South Korea, even though they were repeatedly scaled back to reopen denuclearization talks with Pyongyang.

And on Saturday, Ri added that "We know very well what we must do..

We will continue to increase our most thoroughgoing and overwhelming military power." The White House, which has said it's in the "final stages" of reviewing its North Korea policy, declined to comment.

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