North Korea responds to Biden’s criticism of ballistic-missile test, accusing administration of ‘gangster-like logic’

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Commuters watch a TV showing a file image of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Joe Biden during a news program at the Suseo Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Friday
  • North Korea has responded to President Joe Biden after he criticized their test of ballistic missiles.
  • Top North Korean military official Ri Pyong Chol said the Biden administration, "took the wrong first step."
  • This week marked the first ballistic missiles tested by North Korea under the Biden administration.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

North Korea on Friday issued a scathing statement in response to President Joe Biden's recent condemnation of North Korea's recent missile tests.

North Korea's state media quoted top North Korean military official Ri Pyong Chol, saying in part, "If the US continues with its thoughtless remarks without thinking of the consequences, it may be faced with something that is not good."

"It is a gangster-like logic that it is allowable for the US to ship the strategic nuclear assets into the Korean peninsula and launch ICBMs any time it wants but not allowable for the DPRK, its belligerent party, to conduct even a test of a tactical weapon," Ri said.

Earlier this week, the US and South Korea conducted joint military exercises, and in response, North Korea tested its first ballistic missiles under the Biden administration in the East Sea, after two smaller missiles were tested last week.

Ri said that North Korea had the "right to self-defense" and that the Biden administration "took the wrong first step."

At his first official press conference on Thursday, Biden was asked about North Korea's ballistic missile launch.

"We're consulting with our allies, our partners, and there will be responses. If they choose to escalate, we will respond accordingly," Biden said. "I'm also prepared for some form of diplomacy, but it has to be conditioned upon the end result of denuclearization."

At the press conference, Biden said that North Korea had violated UN Security Council resolutions, and NK News reported that on Friday the UNSC's 1718 Sanctions Committee met to discuss the renewed tensions.

Separately, South Korean President Moon Jae-in called the ballistic launch "undesirable."

Denuclearization talks between the US, North Korea, and South Korea have largely been on hold since former President Donald Trump cut the Hanoi Summit short in 2019.

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