Asked about the launches at his first formal news conference, Mr Biden said: “We’re consulting with our allies and partners and there will be responses if they choose to escalate. We will respond accordingly.”
The President also said that he agreed with then-President Barack Obama who warned in 2016 while leaving office that North Korea is the biggest foreign policy threat and issue, answering simply: “Yes.”
Mr Biden said that he’s also “prepared for some form of diplomacy with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, but it has to be conditioned upon the end result of denuclearisation.”
The US President said China’s ambition of becoming the wealthiest and most powerful country in the world is “not going to happen under my watch.”
Mr Biden said that he’d look to help counter China’s rise by increasing American investment in science and research. It’s an area where he says China is thriving while the US hasn’t kept pace.
The president also says he’s made clear to Chinese leader Xi Jinping that the United States will continue to call out Beijing in an “unrelenting way” on human rights violations.
Mr Biden also said he was building a coalition of Pacific allies – including Australia – to counter China’s rising power.
“Earlier this month, and apparently got the Chinese attention, that’s not why I did it, I met with our allies and how we’re going to hold China accountable in the region; Australia, India, Japan, and the United States, the so-called quad. Because we have to have democracies working together.”
Aiming for 200 million vaccine doses
Mr Biden’s goal seems ambitious, but it actually amounts to a continuation of the country’s existing pace of vaccinations through the end of month. The US is now averaging about 2.5 million doses per day.
“I know it’s ambitious, twice our original goal, but no other country in the world has even come close, not even close, to wat we’re doin we’re doing. I believe we can do it,” Mr Biden said.
A rate even greater than that is possible. Over the next month, two of the bottlenecks to getting Americans vaccinated are set to be lifted.
The US supply of vaccines is on track to increase and states are lifting eligibility requirements for people to get the shots.
Border migrant surge ‘happens yearly’
Mr Biden claimed the current surge in migrants at the US southern border is not unprecedented.
“Truth of the matter is nothing has changed. … As many people came, 28 per cent increase in the children in the border in my administration, 31 per cent in the last year in 2019 before the pandemic in the Trump administration.
“It happens every single solitary year,” he said.
Mr Biden said he wants to rebuild the immigration system, adding that the US is sending back the “vast majority” of families showing up at the border.
The US President said he expects to announce his next major infrastructure initiative on Friday (local time) in Pittsburgh that will aim to rebuild both the “physical and technological infrastructure in this country so we can compete and create significant numbers of really good-paying jobs.”