NORTH Korea could launch a missile or nuclear test during President Joe Biden’s visit to Japan and South Korea, the White House said on Wednesday.
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said it’s a “genuine possibility” in remarks on Wednesday.
“We are preparing for all contingencies, including the possibility that such a provocation would occur while we are in Korea or in Japan,” Sullivan said.
A possible test could come within the next 48-96 hours, according to CNN. The site being observed is near Pyongyang.
North Korea resumed testing of intercontinental ballistic missiles earlier this year, but has not tested a nuclear bomb since 2017.
Earlier in May, three ballistic missiles were fired by North Korea off its east coast into the sea.
US military and intelligence agencies believe North Korea may also be planning its first underground nuclear test in nearly five years.
North Korea is currently dealing with a massive Covid outbreak.
Biden will forego a visit to the Korean Demilitarized Zone, or DMZ, while visiting South Korea, according to new press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
Biden did visit the DMZ in 2013 while serving as vice president.
The President will visit Asia for the first time during his presidency beginning Thursday.
Biden is first scheduled to visit South Korea to meet new President Yoon Suk Yeol.
From there, Biden will travel to Japan on May 22 to visit Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
In Tokyo, the president will attend an in-person meeting between the United States, Japan, India, and Australia – also known as the Quad.
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