North Korea successfully test-fired its new long-range cruise missiles on Saturday and Sunday, state media announced on Sunday.
Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported that the missiles struck their target, roughly 930 miles away after traveling in the air for just over seven seconds, CNN reported. The missiles subsequently landed in North Korea’s territorial waters, according to Reuters.
KCNA said that the tests give “another effective deterrence means for more reliably guaranteeing the security of our state and strongly containing the military maneuvers of the hostile forces against the DPRK," according to the network.
CNN reported earlier this year that the missiles, developed over the past two years, had already been test-launched at least twice.
The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement that they were "aware of reports" that the country had launched cruise missiles.
"We will continue to monitor the situation and are consulting closely with our allies and partners. This activity highlights DPRK’s continuing focus on developing its military program and the threats that poses to its neighbors and the international community," U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said. "The U.S. commitment to the defense of the Republic of Korea and Japan remains ironclad."
"Cruise missiles are often detected after the tests are conducted for their low flight altitudes. North Korea had conducted two cruise missile tests already this year, but we did not disclose them as we do not disclose all cruise missile tests we detect," a South Korean Defense Ministry official said to CNN, adding that the country was looking into the latest test-fires.
The Hill has reached out to the White House and State Department for comment.
The announcement of the latest test came as chief nuclear negotiators from the United States, South Korea and Japan are set to meet in Tokyo on Monday to discuss nuclear negotiations with North Korea that have been stalled since 2019, Reuters reported.
Last month, the United Nations nuclear watchdog said in a report that there were “indications” starting in July that a nuclear reactor in North Korea had been restarted, which included cool water being discharged.
The report also noted that Yongbyon Experimental Nuclear Power Plant's radiochemical laboratory had been in operation between mid-February and early July, adding that the actions “continue to be a cause for serious concern."