US: During Biden tour, North Korea launches missiles or tests nuclear weapons

“Maintaining agile readiness posture” over fears of North Korean provocation

▲ US President Joe Biden poses before boarding a private plane at Andrews Airport in the US for a visit to Korea on the 19th (local time). AP

The U.S. Department of Defense said it was maintaining an agile readiness posture in relation to a possible North Korean provocation during President Joe Biden’s trip to South Korea and Japan.

Defense Spokesperson John Kirby, speaking at a briefing on the 19th (local time), said about the security threats during President Biden’s tour, “Jake is aware of the fact that North Korea is predicting and monitoring that it can do anything, whether it’s a missile launch or a nuclear test. White House National Security Adviser Sullivan explained the day before,” he said.

“We have information that North Korea may conduct additional missile or nuclear tests, including long-range missiles, after President Biden’s visit to South Korea and Japan,” Sullivan said the day before. “We are preparing for all emergencies, including the possibility of such provocations occurring during President Biden’s visit to South Korea or Japan,” he said.

“Security issues are a concern every time the president travels abroad, and security in the Indo-Pacific is a long-standing concern,” Kirby said. “That’s why we make it clear that we’re agile in the face of a possible North Korean provocation before the president’s trip,” he added.

Spokesperson Kirby’s remarks re-emphasized that President Biden is militarily prepared for a possible North Korean provocation during his trip to Korea and Japan.

North Korea, which has carried out 16 missile provocations this year, is raising the possibility that it may conduct additional test launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles or nuclear tests following President Biden’s trip to Korea and Japan. The South Korean and American authorities judged that North Korea had already made all the preparations and was only looking at the timing to put it into action.

President Biden went on a tour that day to visit South Korea on the 20th and 22nd and Japan on the 22nd and 24th. He will arrive at Osan Air Base on the afternoon of the 20th Korean time and hold the first summit meeting with President Yoon Seok-yeol on the 21st.

Reporter Kwak Hye-jin

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