Thursday, March 25, 2021

DPRK Tests Short-range System Over the Weekend: U.S. Officials

By Xinhua

Mar 24, 2021 08:51 AM

Soldiers raise the national flag before a parade to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in Pyongyang, DPRK, on Sept. 9, 2018.(Photo: Xinhua)

Senior U.S. administration officials said on Tuesday that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) tested a short-range system over the weekend while downplaying the test as normal military activity.

Senior administration officials told reporters in a phone briefing that the weapon system the DPRK tested over the weekend was "falling on the low end of the spectrum" and not covered by UN Security Council resolutions.

The officials did not provide further details about the test, citing intelligence reasons. U.S. media reported the test over the weekend involved two short-range missiles, which was the first to occur under the Joe Biden administration.

"It is a normal part of the kind of testing that North Korea would do. We do not believe that it is in our best interest to hype these things," said one official.

The official also noted the United States would continue its efforts to pursue diplomacy with the DPRK in close coordination with South Korea, Japan, and China.

The senior officials also indicated that the Biden administration is in the final stages of its policy review regarding the DPRK, and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan will discuss the issue with his counterparts in Japan and South Korea next week.

The weapon test came days after the DPRK denounced military exercises jointly held by the United States and South Korea last week.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said last Monday that the Biden administration recently reached out to Pyongyang but had not yet received any response.

A top diplomat of the DPRK vowed that Pyongyang would ignore U.S. outreach until Washington "rolls back its hostile policy," the official Korean Central News Agency reported on Thursday.

"We have already declared our stand that no DPRK-U.S. contact and dialogue of any kind can be possible unless the U.S. rolls back its hostile policy towards the DPRK. Therefore, we will disregard such an attempt of the U.S. in the future, too," DPRK First Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui said.

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