N. Korea's missile launches this morning that are highly likely ballistic missiles, pose the first test for the Biden administration which has yet to unveil its North Korea policies.
How will the the new Biden team deal with Pyeongyang's latest provocation?
Let's go live to Bruce Klingner, senior research fellow at the The Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C.
Bruce was previously the Deputy Division Chief for Korea at the CIA.
Bruce Klinger, great to have you on our show.
President Joe Biden laughed off North Korea's weekend short-range missile launch; Washington maintained its stance that it was still open to dialogue with Pyeongyang.
This isn't one of the longer missiles that would concern Washington more but still a ballistic missile which against the UN Security Council resolutions. Now, the previous president - Donald Trump didn't concern himself with SRBMs but it's unlikely to be the same with the Biden administration.
What kind of a response do we expect?
Unlike the cruise missiles launched last week, these are ballistic missiles and therefore a violation of UN resolutions. The Biden administration should respond to the violation rather than dismissing and downplaying them as the Trump administration did with 26 launches in 2019 and 9 launches in March 2020.
The Biden administration should consult with allies South Korea and Japan to coordinate a common response in the United Nations such as a condemnatory statement warning that further and more escalatory violations will further undermine potential for negotiations.
This is NOT the first time North Korea has violated the UN Security Council resolutions and North Korea is ALREADY under pretty tough international sanctions. What CAN the U.S. or the UN do any more than issuing another condemnation?
It's not unusual at all for the new U.S. administration to be welcomed with a missile from North Korea. It may be sending a message or staying on its own schedule to progress forward its weapons development.
Based on the details that we have, so far, what is your assessment of North Korea's missiles and weapons development? How far along are they?
Bruce Klingner live from Washington, D.C. for us tonight. Thank you.