South Korea's Yonhap News Agency is reporting that North Korea's state-owned media KCNA said that North Korea said it has successfully test-fired a "new type long-range" cruise missile on September 11 and 12.
“The efficiency and practicality of the weapon system operation was confirmed to be excellent,” state news agency KCNA said in a statement
The missiles flew 1,500km (930 miles) traveling for 7,580 seconds before hitting their targets and falling into the country's territorial waters, KCNA said.
The development of the missiles provides "strategic significance of possessing another effective deterrence means for more reliably guaranteeing the security of our state and strongly containing the military maneuvers of the hostile forces," KCNA said.
This is not the first such test-fire during Biden's term.
In March, Kim Jong Un test-fired two short-range ballistic missiles, prompting U.S. Indo-Pacific Command spokesperson Capt. Mike Kafka to warn at the time:
“This activity highlights the threat that North Korea’s illicit weapons program poses to its neighbors and the international community."
But one still wonders at the timing of such a provocation.
Kim would not fire anything without Beijing's blessing, so is this Xi piling on more pressure on Biden as Washington faces turmoil in almost every foreign policy endeavor.
Last week, North Korea staged its first military-style parade since Joe Biden became U.S. president, with Kim presiding over an event where displays of his state’s weaponry were scaled down from previous exhibitions. There were no ballistic missiles, which are faster and harder to intercept than cruise missiles, on show.
Also interesting, given the timing, Australia's Defense Minister Peter Dutton and Foreign Minister Marise Payne are in Seoul to meet with their South Korean counterparts, as the two countries mark the 60th anniversary of official relations.