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North Korea conducts 1st missile launch since March

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
North Korea test-fires long-range cruise missile, in this picture supplied by state media outlet KCNA.

North Korea has conducted inside its own territorial waters, a first missile launch since March in line with the country’s endeavors to reinforce itself against “hostile forces.”

The North’s official KCNA media outlet reported the test that featured a long-range cruise missile on Monday.

The missiles deployed during the test flew 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) before hitting their designated targets, the agency said of the development that had apparently taken place over the previous two days.

Last time, the country performed one such test back in March, flying a new tactical short-range ballistic missile.

The test 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,” the news agency said.

‘Five-year defense plan’

It took the country two years to develop the projectile, the KCNA said.

“In this course, detailed tests of missile parts, scores of engine ground thrust tests, various flight tests, control and guidance tests, warhead power tests etc. were conducted with success,” it added.

The agency called the weapon a key element in a five-year plan outlined in January to further advance the nuclear-armed country’s defense science and arsenals.

The developments concerning the test came amid continued deadlock between the North and the United States, which has been exhausting its sanctions machine aimed at supposedly denuclearizing the North.

While mounting the pressure, Washington has never displayed any willingness to relax the economic bans to offer Pyongyang any incentive to de-escalate its nuclear weapons program.

The two sides held unprecedented talks under former US president Donald Trump.

Washington, however, blew what Pyongyang called, “a golden opportunity” at fixing its age-old tensions with North Korea by refusing to take any steps towards ending its economic war.

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