For the first time, a high-level regime official in North Korea has addressed remarks directly to President Biden. The warning message took issue with the US and South Korea's joint military drills, which began March 8, the Japan Times reports. "We take this opportunity to warn the new US administration trying hard to give off (a gunpowder) smell in our land," Kim Jong Un's powerful sister, Kim Yo Jong, said. "If it wants to sleep in peace for (the) coming four years, it had better refrain from causing a stink at its first step." Pyongyang says the drills are "rehearsal for invasion," but the US and South Korea say the drills, which were scaled down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, are "defensive" in nature and don't include field training.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin made their first trip abroad, discussing North Korea's nuclear and missile programs during talks in Tokyo and planning for similar discussions Wednesday in South Korea. The US continues to await a response from North Korea after weeks of attempts at making diplomatic contact, the BBC reports. The Biden administration continues to review former President Trump's North Korea policy, and plans to unveil its policy in the coming weeks, a senior State Department official tells CNN. (Read more North Korea stories.)