North Korea announced on Monday that it has successfully tested newly developed long-range cruise missiles over the weekend, US media reported.
This is the first known testing activity that North Korea has conducted in several months as its nuclear negotiations with the United States continue to be deadlocked.
The missiles can hit targets 930 miles away and the tests were conducted on Saturday and Sunday, USA Today reported, quoting the Korean Central News Agency. The Korean state media also published photos of a projectile being fired from a launcher.
The Indo-Pacific Command of the US military has reacted to the news of the launch, saying that it was monitoring the situation with allies. It also added that the North Korean activity reflected a continuing focus on “developing its military program and the threats that it poses to its neighbors and the international community,” USA Today reported.
North Korea has always maintained that it needs to have nuclear capabilities in order to deter what it claims is hostility from the United States and its neighbour South Korea. Pyongyang and its ally China had fought a bitter war against South Korea and the US-led UN peace forces in the 1950-53 Korean War. The war is technically still on as it
ended in an armistice and is yet to be replaced with a peace treaty.
The country's negotiations with the US on the nuclear issue have been deadlocked since a summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and then-US President Donald Trump collapsed in 2019. The reason for the collapse was that the Americans had rejected Kim's demand for major sanctions relief in exchange for dismantling an aging nuclear complex.
Pyongyang had ended its pause on testing in March this year. Kim Jong-un had rejected the US proposal of dialogue, saying that Washington should first end its hostilities, a reference to sanctions and alliance with South Korea.
The US has stationed around 28,000 military personnel in the South. This is largely seen as a legacy of the Korean war.