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North Korea leader Kim Jong-un. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

North Korea leader Kim Jong-un oversaw "strike drill" missile tests and said troops should be on "high alert posture," according to state media, following reports Pyongyang launched "multiple unidentified short-range projectiles" Saturday morning (local time).

Details: Projectiles touched down in the water between the Korean Peninsula and Japan. According to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the U.S. and South Korea are working closely "to maintain a full readiness posture," per the Washington Post.

What they're saying: "The purpose of the drill was to estimate and inspect the operating ability and the accuracy of striking duty performance of large-caliber long-range multiple rocket launchers and tactical guided weapons by defense units. ... and the combat performance of arms and equipment," the state-run Korean Central News Agency said.

The big picture: President Trump remained hopeful Saturday of reaching an agreement with Kim, despite February's U.S.-North Korean summit ending without a deal in Hanoi and stalled denuclearization negotiations between the president and Kim.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Context: The action comes after Kim attended a test of what was called a “guided tactical weapon” in April. Experts described that test as a message to the U.S. that the North planned to "continue to amass weapons while the diplomatic standoff continued," per the New York Times.

  • Trump has declined to lift sanctions on North Korea until Kim gives up his country's nuclear arsenal.
  • North Korea indicated it will not back down from mounting international pressure, even if its citizens have "water and air only" to live on, according to state media.
  • Kim met with Russia's Vladimir Putin last month.

Go deeper: North Korea's tactical guided message to Trump

Go deeper

Updated 1 min ago - Politics & Policy

White House stands by imperiled Tanden nomination after Senate panel postpones hearing

Neera Tanden. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Senate Homeland Security Committee is postponing a confirmation hearing scheduled Wednesday for Neera Tanden, Axios has learned, a potential death knell for President Biden's nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget.

The latest: Asked Wednesday afternoon whether Tanden has offered to withdraw her nomination, Psaki told reporters, "That’s not the stage we’re in." She noted that it's a "numbers game" and a "matter of getting one Republican" to support the nomination.

Acting Capitol Police chief: Officers were unsure of lethal force rules on Jan. 6

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Acting U.S. Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman wrote in prepared remarks for a House hearing on Thursday that officers in her department were "unsure of when to use lethal force" during the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Why it matters: Capitol Police did deploy lethal force on Jan. 6 — shooting and killing 35-year-old Ashli Babbit — but have faced questions over why officers appeared to be less forceful against pro-Trump rioters than participants in previous demonstrations, including those over Black Lives Matter and now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

United CEO is confident people will feel safe traveling again by 2022

Axios' Joann Muller and United CEO Scott Kirby. Photo: Axios

United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby believes that people will feel safe traveling again by this time next year, depending on the pace of vaccinations and the government's ongoing response to the pandemic, he said at an Axios virtual event.

Why it matters: Misery for global aviation is likely to continue and hold back a broader economic recovery if nothing changes, especially with new restrictions on international border crossings. U.S. airlines carried about 60% fewer passengers in 2020 compared with 2019.

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