Biden says North Korea is his top foreign policy issue during press conference
During his first press conference since taking office in January, Biden was asked about North Korea and reminded that when he was leaving office more than four years ago, Obama considered the situation with North Korea to be the most pressing matter abroad.
“Former President Obama warned the incoming President Trump that North Korea was the top foreign policy issue that he was watching. Is that how you assess the crisis in North Korea?” Biden was asked.
“Yes,” he replied.
Biden had been discussing how North Korea had reportedly tested two ballistic missiles.
“There will be responses,” Biden vowed. “If they choose to escalate we will respond accordingly.” The president stated that North Korea violated U.N. Resolution 1718 with their actions, which prohibits the nation from launching any ballistic missiles or conducting nuclear tests.
Biden did not specify what kind of responses he had in mind. He did say that he was open to diplomacy, “but it has to be conditioned upon the end result of denuclearization.”
The president’s statement that he considers North Korea to be his top foreign policy issue comes at a time when he faces pressure related to Iran’s nuclear aspirations. While Trump had pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal that the Obama administration negotiated and entered into, Biden has said he plans on rejoining it.
At the same time, there is the ongoing situation with China’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims. On Monday, the Biden administration sanctioned Chinese government officials over what the Treasury Department called “serious human rights abuse.” The department warned that China will continue to face consequences should the “atrocities” continue.