From North Korea to re-run in 2024: Biden addresses first press conference

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Mar 25, 2021, 11:21 PM(IST)

US President Joe Biden Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

'I know it's ambitious, twice our original goal,' Biden said 

US President Joe Biden on Thursday set a new goal of administering 200 million doses of coronavirus vaccine within his first 100 days in office, a target which is double of what he originally promised. 

"Today I'm setting a second goal, and that is, we will by my 100th day in office have administered 200 million shots in people's arms," Biden said in his first press conference since becoming the president on January 20. 

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"I know it's ambitious, twice our original goal," Biden added. 

"But no other country in the world has even come close -- not even close -- to what we are doing, and I believe we can do it."

Biden also said that as of Wednesday more than 100 million payments of $1,400 each have been credited to the people of this country as Covid-19 relief. 

"As of yesterday, more than 100 million payments of $1,400 have gone into people's bank accounts. That's real money in people's pockets bringing relief instantly almost, and millions more will be getting their money very soon".

Let's take a look at what the US president spoke about other important issues. 

On North Korea

Biden also responded to North Korea testing ballistic missiles, saying that the United States will "respond accordingly" if Pyongyang increases its missile testing.

"We are consulting with our partners and allies," Biden said. "And there will be responses if they choose to escalate.

"We will respond accordingly."

But, he hinted at "some form of diplomacy" with North Korea, conditional "upon the end result of denuclearization". 

On troops withdrawal in Afghanistan

The US president insisted that it will be "hard" to meet the May 1 deadline to withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan as part of Washington's deal with the Taliban. 

"It is going to be hard to meet the May 1 deadline in terms of tactical reasons. It's hard to get those troops out," Biden said.  

However, when asked whether US soldiers in Afghanistan will completely leave Afghanistan, he said "We will leave, the question is when". 

On another run in 2024

The 78-year-old president also highlighted that he plans to run for re-election in 2024, adding that he "would fully expect" that Vice President Kamala Harris would be on board. 

"My plan is to run for reelection. That's my expectation," Biden said. 

Not 'confrontation', but 'steep competition' with China

Speaking about the US's strategy on arch-rival China, Biden said that his administration is not seeking a "confrontation", but a "steep competition". 

He also called his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping an autocrat  who "doesn't have a democratic -- with a small 'd' -- bone in his body."

"I told him in person on several occasions we're not looking for confrontation, though we know that there will be steep, steep competition," the US president said. 

On migrant crisis

Biden also said that undocumented immigrants entering the US has hit crisis levels and added that the surge is a seasonal problem occurring every year. 

"There is a significant increase in the number of people coming to the border in the winter months of January, February, March. It happens every year," he said.  

He also said that his administration is committed to let unaccompanied migrant children enter the country on humanitarian grounds. 

"We are sending back the vast majority of the families that are coming," the US president said.

"They should all be going back."
 

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