On Friday, North Korea denounced comments made by President Biden over a recent missile test launched by Pyongyang. At his first press conference on Thursday, Biden warned there would be a “response” if North Korea chooses to “escalate.”
Ri Pyong Chol, a senior North Korean official who supervised the missile test, responded to Biden. “Such remarks from the US president are an undisguised encroachment on our state’s right to self-defense and provocation to it,” he said.
Biden claimed the missile launch that took place on Thursday was a violation of UN sanctions. Ri said North Korea expressed its “deep apprehension over the US chief executive faulting the regular testfire, exercise of our state’s right to self-defense, as the violation of UN ‘resolutions.'”
North Korean state media said the missiles tested on Thursday were a new kind of “tactical guided projectiles” that hit a target 370 miles away. Japanese officials claim they were ballistic missiles that would violate UN sanctions’ although it’s not clear if that’s the case.
Last weekend, North Korea launched two short-range missiles that the US said were not under UN sanctions, and the White House downplayed the test.
The missile tests followed a visit to South Korea from US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. While in Seoul, Austin warned the North that US and South Korean officials were ready to “fight tonight.” His comments came after Pyongyang denounced the US and South Korea’s decision to resume military exercises after a year-long pause due to the coronavirus pandemic.