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North Korea says it has successfully tested what it described as newly developed long-range cruise missiles

SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea says it successfully tested what it described as newly developed long-range cruise missiles over the weekend, its first known testing activity in months that has highlighted how it continues to expand its military capabilities amid a stalemate in nuclear negotiations with the United States.

Korea’s Central News Agency said on Monday that the cruise missiles, which had been in development for two years, successfully hit targets 1,500 kilometers (932 miles) away during its flight tests on Saturday and Sunday. The North hailed its new missiles as a “strategic weapon of great importance” that responds to leader Kim Jong Un’s call to strengthen the country’s military might.

The South Korean military did not immediately confirm the North Korean tests.

Kim at a ruling Workers’ Party convention in January doubled down on his pledge to strengthen nuclear deterrence in the face of US sanctions and pressure and issued a long wishlist of sophisticated new assets, including intercontinental ballistic missiles to more long range, nuclear weapons – motorized submarines, spy satellites and tactical nuclear weapons.

North Korea ended a year-long hiatus in ballistic testing in March by firing two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea, continuing the tradition of testing new U.S. administrations with weapons demonstrations aimed at measuring Washington’s response and wresting concessions.

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ABC News