North Korea announced on Sunday (12) the successful testing of a new long-range cruise missile, said the country’s state news agency, KCNA, amid a long standoff with the United States over denuclearization.
In tests carried out between Saturday (11) and Sunday, the missiles flew 1,500 km before reaching their targets and falling into the country’s territorial waters, according to the KCNA.
In March, North Korea had already launched a new short-range tactical ballistic missile.
Earlier, in January, a test cruise was held hours after US President Joe Biden took office. This weekend’s essay shows that the country is constantly developing new weapons amid a 2019 standstill in talks with Washington to dismantle nuclear and ballistic missile programs in exchange for ending economic sanctions.
The release of the test comes a day before the main nuclear negotiators from the US, South Korea and Japan meet in Tokyo to discuss ways to break the impasse with North Korea.
Developed over the past two years, the new weapon is a key element of a five-year plan established in January to develop the country’s military technologies, according to state media. The idea is to have “another effective means of deterrence to more reliably ensure state security and firmly contain military maneuvers by hostile forces,” the KCNA said.
Without the presence of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the rehearsals were overseen by Pak Jong Chon, a member of the powerful politburo of the Korean Workers’ Party.
One of the most closed countries in the world, North Korea accuses the US and South Korea of making “hostile policy” towards Pyongyang. Biden’s government, on the other hand, says it is open to diplomacy to achieve the denuclearization of the Asian country, with public efforts to ease sanctions.
Sung Kim, the US envoy to North Korea, said in August in Seoul that he was ready to meet with North Korean officials “anywhere, anytime”. The reactivation of the hotline between the northern and southern parts of the peninsula in July raised hopes of a resumption of negotiations, but Pyongyang stopped responding to annual calls from South Korea and the US.