US is willing to send North Korea COVID-19 aid despite Kim Jong Un’s vows to ramp up its nuclear program, official says


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Officials said North Korea may be planning a long-range missile test to occur during President Joe Biden's visit to the South Korea this weekend.

  • About a week after reporting its first COVID-19 case, North Korea may have surpassed 2 million cases.
  • A Biden administration official told Bloomberg's Jennifer Jacobs they may be willing to help the country.
  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's nuclear threats have ramped up as Biden visits South Korea.

The Biden administration is open to providing North Korea with COVID-19 aid as the country faces a major outbreak, a senior official said on Friday.


"It is our hope that they will make decisions that will allow for the maximum amount of support in this time of great need and great crisis," the official said of North Korea, according to White House transcript of a press call.

The official added that the administration remains united with the international community in opposition to North Korea's "destabilizing and threatening behavior."

North Korea acknowledged its first-ever case of COVID-19 last week. Since then, the estimated number of cases in the isolated country has surpassed 2 million.

Meanwhile, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has vowed to ramp up the country's nuclear weapons program. In March, North Korea tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile system, prompting condemnation from the West.

"We will continue to take steps to strengthen and develop our nation's nuclear capabilities at the fastest pace," Kim said during a military parade in April, according to the BBC.

US and South Korean officials said this week North Korea could be planning a long-range missile test to occur during President Joe Biden's visit to the South. Biden arrived in South Korea on Friday.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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