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N. Korea could conduct ICBM test early next year: think tank

SEOUL, Dec. 29 (Yonhap) -- North Korea could test-fire an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in the early months of the incoming U.S. administration of Joe Biden if nuclear talks between the two countries remain stalled, a local think tank said Tuesday.

The North has undertaken military provocations in the past to test Washington's approach or grab its attention when a new U.S. administration took office. President-elect Joe Biden is set to be inaugurated on Jan. 20.

Biden has called for "principled diplomacy" favoring working-level discussions over President Donald Trump's "top-down" diplomacy with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, suggesting that nuclear talks could move at a slower pace.

"Biden's formation of his foreign policy lineup and basic policy approach suggest that it is clear the administration will make a 180-degree turn to the bottom-up method based on working-level meetings, as opposed to the top-down method," the Asan Institute for Policy Studies said in its 2021 forecast on international affairs.

Imagen: Lanzamiento de misil, Corea del Norte, Fuente KCNA.

 "Therefore, the North will consider playing the card of an ICBM launch in a desperate measure to break the deadlock that could get even more serious than it has been under the Trump administration," it said.

Read more: Yonhap