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An image of North Korea's "railway-borne missile system" launched on Wednesday. Photo: North Korea's Korean Central News Agency

North Korea tested a new "railway-borne missile system" during its latest launch on Wednesday, adding another option for its ballistic missile program, according to North Korea's state-run Korean Central News Agency.

Why it matters: North Korea's new system was tested during a flurry of missile launches around the Korean Peninsula, where South Korea successfully operated its submarine-launched ballistic missile system for the first time.

  • South Korea's test of its submarine missile system drew scorn from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's powerful sister, Kim Yo-jong, who said the test threatened a “complete destruction” of bilateral relations between the two countries, according to AP.
  • With the test, South Korea became the first non-nuclear state to develop and test a submarine-launched missile system.

The big picture: North Korea's train-based ballistic missile flew for around 497 miles before striking a target in the sea off North Korea's east coast, according to state media.

  • It came after the nuclear-armed country had tested new long-range cruise missiles over the weekend and two ballistic missiles earlier on Wednesday.
  • The competing missile launches complicate a July pledge between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in to improve relations and resume previously suspended communication channels between the two countries.

Go deeper: IOC suspends North Korea from Beijing Olympics

Go deeper

Updated Oct 20, 2021 - World

North Korea claims latest missile test new weapon launched from submarine

North Korean state media claims the country's military fired this missile on Tuesday. Photo: Korean Central News Agency

North Korean state media announced that a detected ballistic missile launch off its east coast on Tuesday was a newly developed weapon test-fired from a submarine.

Why it matters: Pyongyang's latest in a series of recent missile launches into the sea happened hours after U.S. officials emphasized their commitment to restart negotiations on North Korea's nuclear weapons program, which have stalled since talks broke down during the Trump administration, AP notes.

Oct 19, 2021 - Podcasts

A new Cold War brewing?

The Financial Times recently reported that China launched a possible nuclear-capable hypersonic missile in August. The possible missile launch drew comparisons to the Soviet Union's 1957 launch of the Sputnik satellite.

But it’s complicated. China says it was a routine spacecraft test, but the launch caught U.S. intelligence by surprise, according to the Financial Times.

Is calling this a new Cold War the right way to think about it?

Axios Re:Cap talks with Axios’ China reporter Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian on what all this means for U.S.-China relations.

The startup that wants to disrupt big internet providers

Maura Losch/Axios

A new startup backed by funding from AOL founder Steve Case and Laurene Powell Jobs wants to break up broadband monopolies across the country.

Why it matters: Internet access has been crucial during the pandemic, but it's not ubiquitous, and it can be both slow and unaffordable in swaths of the country.