The cruise missiles proved they can hit targets 932 miles away during flight tests over the weekend, according to state media.
They travelled for 126 minutes “along an oval and pattern-8 flight orbits” above North Korean land and waters before striking their targets, KCNA said.
It is the first known testing activity in North Korea in months, underscoring how the country continues to expand its military capabilities amid a stalemate in nuclear negotiations with the United States.
The North hailed its new missiles as a “strategic weapon of great significance” that meets leader Kim Jong Un’s call to strengthen the country’s military might.
It implies that the missiles, in the making for two years, were being developed with an intent to arm them with nuclear warheads.
Photos showed a projectile being fired from a launcher truck and an apparent missile with wings and tail fins travelling in the air.
“In all, the efficiency and practicality of the weapon system operation was confirmed to be excellent,” KCNA said.
Good reminder: today's test is *not* North Korea's first cruise missile; it is, however, North Korea's first long-range (1,000 km+) cruise missile and first claimed nuclear-capable cruise missile. https://t.co/4piF9TpqeN
— Ankit Panda (@nktpnd) September 12, 2021
South Korea‘s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the military was analysing the North Korean launches based on US and South Korean intelligence.
The US Indo-Pacific Command said it was monitoring the situation with allies and that the North Korean activity reflects a continuing focus on “developing its military programme and the threats that poses to its neighbours and the international community.”
Japan said it was “extremely concerned.”
North Korea ended a yearlong pause in ballistic tests in March by firing two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea, continuing a tradition of testing new US administrations with weapons demonstrations aimed at measuring Washington’s response and wresting concessions.
But there hadn’t been any known test launches for months after that, as Kim focused national efforts on fending off the coronavirus and salvaging his economy.