North Korea missile test ‘likely’ when Joe Biden becomes POTUS – ‘Nukes here to stay'

It comes amid speculation around what the relationship between the Mr Biden and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will be like. Current president Donald Trump has held historic meetings with Mr Kim, though they did not result in a concrete agreement for nuclear disarmament.

Now, analysts warn the North typically test-fires missiles or nuclear weapons around the time a new US president takes office.

It is feared relations between North Korea and the US could worsen once Mr Biden takes office, and that North would be unlikely to change its stance.

Soo Kim, a former CIA worker and US policy analyst, told Bloomberg news: “The nukes are here to stay, Kim will continue to build and extort, and the strategy has proven to work for decades. So why change what works?”

Despite crippling international sanctions, North Korea has continued developing long-range ballistic missiles and experts think some could be capable of reaching the US.

Earlier this year, Mr Kim unveiled a new missile at a military parade which appeared to be the biggest one the country has yet produced.

Like the nation’s existing Hwasong-15 missile, the new one is said to be a two-stage liquid-fuelled system.

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It was not clear at the time what Mr Biden has said to provoke the statement, though he had blasted Mr Trump for dealing with “dictators and tyrants”.

More recently, Mr Biden labelled the North’s leader a “thug” during a presidential debate in October.

The incoming US President has suggested there is room for negotiation with the North, according to a campaign statement.

It reads: “In North Korea, President Biden will empower our negotiators and jump start a sustained, coordinated campaign with our allies and others, including China, to advance our shared objective of a denuclearized North Korea.”

So far, Mr Kim is one of the few remaining world leaders not to congratulate the incoming US President on his election win earlier this month.

Even Xi Jinping has issued a statement to Mr Biden, though it came as late as Wednesday last week.

Mr Xi said he hoped the two leaders could “uphold the spirit of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation” following a year of tensions between the two nations.

In October, Mr Biden referred to Mr Kim during a presidential debate.

He blasted the Trump administration for its talks with North Korea, accusing Mr Trump of having “legitimised North Korea – he’s talked about his good buddy who is a thug, and he talks about how we’re better off”.

He added: “And they have much more capable missile, able to reach US territory much more easily than it ever did before.”