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Biden warns of 'responses' if North Korea 'choose to escalate'

North Korea fired two suspected ballistic missiles into the sea Thursday, in its first substantive provocation to Biden's new administration.

US President Joe Biden speaks during remarks on the implementation of the American Rescue Plan in the State Dining room of the White House in Washington, DC on 15 March 2021. Picture: Eric Baradat/AFP

WASHINGTON - President Joe Biden said Thursday the United States will "respond accordingly" if North Korea escalates its missile testing.

"We are consulting with our partners and allies," Biden said at his first White House press conference. "And there will be responses if they choose to escalate. We will respond accordingly."

Biden told reporters he was "prepared for some form of diplomacy" with North Korea but it "has to be conditioned upon the end result of denuclearization."

North Korea fired two suspected ballistic missiles into the sea Thursday, in its first substantive provocation to Biden's new administration.

Pyongyang is banned from developing any ballistic missiles under UN Security Council resolutions, and is under multiple international sanctions over its weapons programs.

Biden said the North had violated UN resolutions by testing "those particular missiles."

The new US president also replied "yes" when asked if North Korea was the top foreign policy issue he was watching.

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