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Saturday 4 February 2023 Dublin: 9°C
Evan Vucci/AP US President Joe Biden listens to South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol speak during a news conference at the People’s House inside the Ministry of National Defence in Seoul
# seoul trip
Biden says any Kim meeting would depend on sincerity
North Korea’s Kim Jong Un has conducted a blitz of sanctions-busting weapons tests this year.

US PRESIDENT JOE Biden has said that any potential meeting with North Korea’s leader would depend on whether Kim Jong Un was “sincere”.

Biden, who is in Seoul for his first trip to Asia as president, told a joint press conference with South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol that a meeting with Kim “would depend on whether he was sincere”.

Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump met Kim for a round of high-profile diplomacy, but talks collapsed in 2019.

Kim has since doubled down on his programme of military modernisation, and Pyongyang has conducted a blitz of sanctions-busting weapons tests this year, including firing an intercontinental ballistic missile at full range.

embedded267012121 The US president participates in a wreath-laying ceremony at Seoul National Cemetery (Evan Vucci/AP)

Biden’s Asia tour, aiming to shore up economic and security ties with regional allies, has been overshadowed by the threat of a North Korea weapons test.

The United States and South Korea have been warning for weeks that the North could carry out a nuclear test any day, and Washington said it could even come while Biden is in the region.

The two leaders today announced they would look at ramping up joint military exercises — something that always infuriates North Korea, which views them as rehearsals for an invasion.

“We also discussed whether we’d need to come up with various types of joint drills in case of a nuclear attack,” Yoon said.

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