N.Korea slams Biden's missile remarks

·2-min read

North Korea says the administration of US President Joe Biden has taken a wrong first step and revealed "deep-seated hostility" by criticising its self-defensive missile test.

North Korea on Friday claimed it had launched a new type of tactical short-range ballistic missile. Biden said the test violated UN Security Council resolutions but said he remained open to diplomacy with Pyongyang.

Ri Pyong Chol, secretary of the North's ruling Worker's Party's Central Committee, said the missile test was self-defensive against threats posed by South Korea and the United States with their joint military exercises and advanced weapons.

"We express our deep apprehension over the US chief executive faulting the regular test-fire, exercise of our state's right to self-defence, as the violation of UN 'resolutions' and openly revealing his deep-seated hostility," Ri said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.

Biden's remarks were an "undisguised encroachment on our state's right to self-defence and provocation", he said, adding Washington might face "something that is not good" if it continues to make "thoughtless remarks".

"I think that the new US administration obviously took its first step wrong," Ri said.

The test came just days after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken vowed to work to denuclearise North Korea and criticised its "systemic and widespread" human rights abuses during his visit in Seoul with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

North Korea has also slammed the South Korea-US exercises that ended last week, even though they were repeatedly scaled back to facilitate a restart of denuclearisation talks with Pyongyang.

The White House, which said its North Korea policy review was in the "final stages", declined to comment. The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.