General: No Signs of N. Korean Tests Ahead of Biden Inauguration

North Korea does not appear to be preparing a major provocation at the onset of the administration of President-elect Joe Biden, according to the top U.S. general in South Korea, amid concerns Pyongyang could soon conduct a missile or other weapons test.  “We’re not seeing any indicators that suggest that there would be a major provocation — but that’s today. That could change next week,” General Robert Abrams, the commander of U.S. Forces Korea, told an online forum Tuesday.  North Korea has often timed major tests, including of ballistic missiles or nuclear weapons, around U.S. presidential transitions, an effort to demonstrate its military capabilities and possibly gain leverage in future negotiations with Washington.  FILE – In this photo taken June 30, 2019, North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un (L) and US President Donald Trump shake hands during a meeting on the south side of the Military Demarcation Line that divides North and South Korea.Biden has said he won’t rule out meeting Kim face-to-face, but has suggested that would only come as part of broader, working-level talks. Biden, who helped oversee former President Barack Obama’s policy of “strategic patience” toward North Korea, has repeatedly criticized Trump’s personal outreach to Kim, saying the strategy is ineffective and aimed more at creating headlines than addressing the North Korean nuclear issue.At his election rallies, Biden frequently called Kim a “thug,” “tyrant,” and “dictator.” In response, North Korean state media slammed Biden as an “imbecile,” a “fool of low IQ,” and a “rabid dog.” 

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