The U.S. believes that two recent North Korean missile tests featured a new intercontinental ballistic missile system that was initially revealed during a parade in 2020, according to a statement from Pentagon press secretary John Kirby.
"The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) conducted two ballistic missile tests on February 26 and March 4, 2022 EST. Based on analysis of these launches, the United States Government has concluded that these launches involved a new Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) system that the DPRK is developing, which was originally unveiled during the Korean Workers Party parade on October 10, 2020," Kirby said.
"The purpose of these tests, which did not demonstrate ICBM range, was likely to evaluate this new system before conducting a test at full range in the future, potentially disguised as a space launch," he noted.
Kirby said that the tests mark a flagrant breach of United Nations Security Council resolutions.
"The United States strongly condemns these launches, which are a brazen violation of multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions, needlessly raise tensions and risk destabilizing the security situation in the region," he said.
He also declared that America remains dedicated to defending South Korea and Japan.
"Earlier this week, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command ordered intensified surveillance activity in the Yellow Sea, as well as enhanced readiness among our ballistic missile defense forces in the region. Our commitment to the defense of the Republic of Korea and Japan remains ironclad. We have been and will continue to coordinate closely with our allies and partners to address the threats posed by the DPRK and to advance our shared objective of the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," he said.
The Associated Press reported that during Biden's tenure, the administration has reached out in attempts to get North Korea to negotiate. But the outlet reported that according to a senior U.S. administration official, North Korea has been unresponsive to the U.S. requests.