North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un with his army. Photo: STR/ KCNA VIA KNS/AFP/Getty Images

North Korean state news agency KCNA says leader Kim Jong-un "expressed satisfaction" after overseeing the test-fire of a newly developed large-caliber multiple rocket launcher system.

The big picture: KCNA's report on Thursday morning local time contradicts South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff's assessment that Pyongyang had fired 2 short-range ballistic missiles off its eastern coast in the incident early Wednesday.

Why it matters: This was the second such test in a week. President Trump has repeatedly downplayed North Korea's missile tests since meeting Kim last month. Pyongyang is angry over planned U.S.-South Korean military drills and may be trying to press the United States for negotiation concessions, AP notes.

What they're saying: National Security Adviser John Bolton told Fox Business' " Lou Dobbs Tonight," "The firing of these missiles don’t violate the pledge that Kim Jong-un made to the president about intercontinental-range ballistic missiles."

Go deeper: Ignoring North Korean missile tests could hamper nuclear talks

Go deeper

4 hours ago - Health

Fauci says if people won't wear masks, maybe it should be mandated

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Graeme Jennings- Pool/Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told CNN on Friday evening that if "people are not wearing masks, then maybe we should be mandating it."

Why it matters: Fauci made the comments the same day the U.S. hit its highest daily COVID-19 case count since the pandemic began.

Harris to Black voters: Casting a ballot is about honoring your ancestors

Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris speaks at a "Get Out The Vote" rally at Morehouse College. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Kamala Harris appealed to Black voters in Georgia on Friday, urging them to "honor the ancestors" by casting ballots, and again calling President Trump a "racist."

Why it matters: The U.S. saw a significant decline in African-American voter turnout between 2012 and 2016, reaching its lowest point since 2000. Higher turnout among Black Americans this year could tip the balance in favor of Democrats in key battleground states, including Georgia.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci: Trump hasn't been to a COVID task force meeting in months.
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  4. Retail: Santa won't greet kids at Macy's this year.
  5. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.

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