Kim Jong-un overseas strategic cruise missile test as South Korea-US military drills begin

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North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has overseen a test of strategic cruise missiles fired from the country’s newest navy corvette, as South Korea and the United States begin their latest round of joint military drills.

Kim visited a navy fleet on the east coast to inspect the test aboard a warship, calling for the modernisation of the navy and the “development of ship-based and subsurface weapon systems”, state media reported. The date of the tests was unspecified.

The reports follow a landmark weekend summit between the leaders of South Korea, Japan and the United States, where they agreed to hold regular joint exercises and summits, consult each other during crises and share real-time data on North Korea – a move that has alarmed Pyongyang and Beijing.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have spiralled since the collapse of denuclearisation talks in 2019.

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