North Korea also conducted a cruise missile test just hours after US President Joe Biden took office in late January.
North Korea carried out successful tests of a new long-range cruise missile over the weekend, its state media, KCNA, said on Monday, amid a protracted standoff with the United States over denuclearisation. The missiles flew 1,500 km (930 miles) before hitting their targets and falling into the country’s territorial waters during the tests held on Saturday and Sunday, KCNA said. The latest test highlighted steady progress in Pyongyang’s weapons program amid a gridlock over talks aimed at dismantling the North’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs in return for U.S. sanctions relief. The talks have stalled since 2019. “This would be the first cruise missile in North Korea to be explicitly designated a ‘strategic’ role,” said Ankit Panda, a senior fellow at the US-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “This is a common euphemism for nuclear-capable system.”