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U.S. Worried North Korea Could Return to Nuclear and ICBM Tests, Urges Dialogue

North Korea’s testing spree is a major unwanted headache for the Biden administration as it seeks to head off any plans by Russia to invade Ukraine and contends with relations with China at their worst level in decades.
U.S. worried North Korea could return to nuclear and ICBM tests, urges dialogue
Residents hold US and North Korean flags while they wait for motorcade of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un en route to the Metropole Hotel for the second US- North Korea summit in Hanoi, Vietnam February 28, 2019. REUTERS/Kham

Reuters

The United States is concerned North Korea’s escalating missile tests could be precursors to resumed tests of nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles, a senior U.S. official said on Sunday, while urging Pyongyang to join direct talks with no preconditions.

North Korea conducted its largest missile test since 2017 on Sunday, sending a suspected intermediate-range ballistic missile soaring into space.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said a recent flurry of North Korean missile tests was reminiscent of heightened tensions in 2017, when North Korea conducted multiple nuclear tests and launched its largest missiles.

He said the latest launch took North Korea a step closer to fully scrapping a self-imposed moratorium on testing its longest-range intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), which it hasn’t tested since 2017.

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