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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in the capital Pyongyang in 2020. Photo: API/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

North Korean officials claim to have successfully test-fired new long-range cruise missiles over the weekend.

Why it matters: The new claims made via the state-run KCNA news agency are that it now has "a strategic weapon of great significance" that traveled some 930 miles to hit targets and then land in the sea on Saturday and Sunday.

  • Ankit Panda, a senior fellow at the U.S.-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told Reuters this would be "the first cruise missile in North Korea to be explicitly designated a 'strategic' role" and that such a reference was "a common euphemism for nuclear-capable system."
  • The reported launch highlights Pyongyang's "continuing focus on developing its military program and the threats that poses to its neighbors and the international community," per a statement from the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.

The big picture: Negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang on the denuclearization of North Korea have stalled since a second summit between then-President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ended without a deal in 2019.

  • The United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency said last month that North Korea appeared to have resumed operations at a key nuclear reactor that's believed to produce fuel for nuclear weapons.
  • The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said that it's monitoring the situation following the launch reports and "consulting closely with our allies."
  • South Korea's military said it's analyzing the launches in cooperation with the U.S.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Dec 11, 2021 - Politics & Policy

U.S. sanctions people, entities linked to China, Myanmar and North Korea

President Biden delivers closing remarks during the virtual Summit for Democracy in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Dec. 10. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Biden administration on Friday announced new sanctions on dozens of people and entities with ties to human rights abuses in China, Myanmar, Bangladesh and North Korea.

Why it matters: The move, timed with international Human Rights Day and the State Department's two-day Summit for Democracy, is a tool "to draw attention to and promote accountability for human rights violations and abuses," the department said.

Dec 12, 2021 - World

Iran negotiator "optimistic" despite sanctions impasse

Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani. Photo: Joe Klamar/AFP via Getty Images

Iran's lead negotiator in the ongoing nuclear talks in Vienna criticized the position of the European negotiators Sunday, telling Iranian state-run media that they had failed to propose compromises on the issue of sanctions.

Catch up quick: Negotiations resumed after a months-long standstill following the election of Iran's new hardline president, Ebrahim Raisi.

Updated 1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Hybrid work now dominates the knowledge economy

llustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

For the first time since the start of the pandemic, most knowledge workers are in hybrid work arrangements, partly remote and partly in-office, a new survey finds.

By the numbers: 58% said they now work this way, in a survey of around 10,000 knowledge workers from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Japan, conducted last November by Future Forum, a research group backed by Slack.