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

North Korea deemed its latest round of super-large multiple rocket launcher tests on Thursday afternoon a success, per state news agency KCNA, Reuters reports.

The big picture: The same weapon was tested both in August and September, as talks between the U.S. and North Korea over nuclear weapon development remain up in the air.

What they're saying per Reuters: "The success of the tests was immediately reported, and Kim Jong-un 'expressed satisfaction' and congratulated the scientists who had developed the weapon, KCNA said, indicating that Kim was not at the site."

  • Thursday’s test confirmed that the “continuous fire system” weapon is able to “totally destroy” a group target by a surprise attack, KCNA noted.
  • “This launch and continued North Korean aggression underscore the need for the Trump Administration to re-commit to the maximum pressure policy” and for Congress to impose more sanctions against North Korea, Sen. Corey Gardner (R-Colo.) said.

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Trump commutes Roger Stone's sentence

Roger Stone arriving at his sentencing hearing on Feb. 20. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump on Friday evening commuted the sentence of his longtime associate Roger Stone, according to two senior administration officials. Stone in February was sentenced to 40 months in prison for crimes including obstruction, witness tampering and making false statements to Congress.

Why it matters: The controversial move brings an abrupt end to the possibility of Stone spending time behind bars. He had been scheduled to report to prison on July 14.

Updated 10 hours ago - Health

Which states have set single-day coronavirus records this week

Data: COVID Tracking Project and state health department data compiled by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti and Naema Ahmed/Axios

13 states this week surpassed records set just last week for their highest number of coronavirus infections in a single day, according to the COVID Tracking Project and state health department data. 16 states in total reported new highs.

The big picture: The United States' alarming rise in coronavirus cases isn't just due to increased testing — particularly where the number of cases has grown fastest over the last month, Axios' Andrew Witherspoon and Caitlin Owens report.

Updated 11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 p.m. ET: 12,389,660 — Total deaths: 557,279 — Total recoveries — 6,830,596Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 p.m. ET: 3,169,611 — Total deaths: 133,885 — Total recoveries: 983,185 — Total tested: 38,856,341Map.
  3. Public health: The reality of the coronavirus bites.
  4. Trade: Trump says he's no longer considering phase-two trade deal with China because the pandemic damaged the two countries' relationship.
  5. 🎧 Podcast: Rural America has its own coronavirus problem.