North Korea ‘fires short-range missiles’ in despot Kim Jong-un’s first challenge to Biden

NORTH Korea has reportedly fired short-range missiles in despot Kim Jong-un's first challenge to Joe Biden.

The launch took place after North Korea denounced Washington for going forward with joint military exercises with South Korea, the Washington Post reported.

Last week it was reported that the country was allegedly preparing to carry out its "first nuclear weapons test" since President Joe Biden took office.

CNN reported on the news after speaking with a handful of US officials who wished to remain anonymous.

US officials were reportedly on alert after scaled-down, simulated military exercises were conducted by the US and South Korea, the outlet explained.

Just days later, a US Defense Secretary warned that America is ready to "fight tonight" following the threats.

On the first day of a three-day trip to South Korea, Secretary Lloyd Austin stressed that the alliance between the nations has “never been more important” given the “unprecedented challenges” from North Korea and China. 

"Our force remains ready to 'fight tonight,' and we continue to make progress toward the eventual transition of wartime Operational Control to a [Republic of Korea]-commanded, future Combined Forces Command," the defense secretary said.

"While meeting all the conditions for this transition will take more time, I'm confident that this process will strengthen our alliance."

A public warning about a North Korea threat was issued by a senior US general on Tuesday, CNN reported.

Gen. Glen Van Herck reportedly told the Senate Armed Services Committee: "The Kim Jong Un regime has achieved alarming success in its quest to demonstrate the capability to threaten the U.S. homeland with nuclear-armed ICBMs, believing such weapons are necessary to deter US military action and ensure his regime's survival."

The last test conduct by North Korea took place in March 2020.

The news comes after Kim Jong-Un's sister said Biden should avoid "causing a stink" if he wants peace with North Korea.

"We take this opportunity to warn the new U.S. administration trying hard to give off powder smell in our land," said the North Korean dictator's sister Kim Yo Jong on Tuesday.

"If it wants to sleep in peace for coming four years, it had better refrain from causing a stink at its first step," she continued in a statement released by state news agency KCNA.

The North Korean leader's sister was criticizing the US for its ongoing military drills in South Korea, with her stern message coming just a day before two high-up US officials travel to Seoul in the Biden Administration's first talks with South Korean counterparts.

Joint drills between American and South Korean groups had begun in the country last week, which was previously limited to computer simulations due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"War drills and hostility can never go with dialogue and cooperation," said Kim Yo Jong. She is a well-known critic of South Korea on the state-run news agency.

The North Korean dictator's sister also mocked the country to the south as "resorting to shrunken war games, now that they find themselves in the quagmire of political, economic and epidemic crisis."

She then pointed to foreign interference interacting differently between the two countries.

"How despite the agreements in place, positive actions especially on the inter-Korean agenda have been too few while actions that reinforce the ‘old’ adversarial relationship persist."

Many have said Kim's comments have all but ensured that the topic of Blinken's and Austin's conversations would be centered around North Korea.

"Until now, the discussion was focusing on The Quad, dealing with China and the North Korea policy review," Ramon Pacheco Pardo, a Korea expert at King’s College London, told Reuters. "Now Kim’s statement will be central to discussions."

Last week, the White House said North Korea has avoided engaging in talks with the United States, implying a cold relationship that began under Trump and extending under Biden.

Kim Jong-un had three summits with Trump and exchanged a number of letters, but nuclear talks ended when North Korea said it would no longer engage until the US stops its hostile policies.

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