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North Korea may test-fire nuclear weapons while Biden visits South Korea and Japan, US says

Business Insider US
North Korea has been aggressively testing its weapons systems, earning condemnation from the United Nations and South Korea.
  • North Korea may test-fire nuclear weapons while President Biden is in Asia, the White House said.
  • Kim Jong Un's regime has been aggressively testing its weapons systems over the last few months.
  • Biden is set to visit Japan and South Korea from May 20 to 24.
  • For more stories visit Business Insider.

North Korea may conduct a nuclear test, missile test, or even both while President Joe Biden is visiting east Asia, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Wednesday.

"Our intelligence does reflect the genuine possibility that there will be either a further missile test, including a long-range missile test, or a nuclear test, or frankly both, in the days leading into, on, or after the President's trip to the region," Sullivan told reporters at a White House briefing.

Biden is expected to visit South Korea and Japan from May 20 to 24. He is set to meet the leaders of both nations and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the victor of Australia's upcoming national election.

North Korea has been aggressively conducting long-range weapons tests since the start of the year, which the United Nations and South Korea have condemned for intensifying hostilities.

"We are preparing for all contingencies including the possibility that such a provocation would occur while we are in Korea or in Japan," Sullivan said.

He added that he had called Yang Jiechi, the head of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission Yang Jiechi, to discuss security issues like a provocation from North Korea.

Sullivan said the Biden administration would "make both short and longer term adjustments to our military posture as necessary to ensure that we are providing both defense and deterrence to our allies in the region."

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Biden would not visit the Demilitarized Zone — the border between North and South Korea — during his upcoming trip.

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