The Defense Department conducts a flight test of a conventionally configured ground-launched cruise missile at San Nicolas Island, California. Photo: Defense Department

North Korea on Thursday called the recent U.S. cruise missile test and military plans including the deployment of F-35 jets around the Korean peninsula "dangerous," warning the action "would trigger a new cold war."

Why it matters: Denuclearization talks between the U.S. and North Korea have continued to stall, despite President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un agreeing at a June 30 meeting to restart the negotiations. The situation on the Korean Peninsula remains tense. North Korea has conducted 6 weapons tests since June 25.

Dangerous and unusual military moves are now on the horizon, which would trigger a new cold war on the Korean Peninsula and in the region."
— North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson statement to KCNA

The big picture: The spokesperson said Pyongyang hoped to resolve all issues peacefully through dialogue and negotiation. "However, dialogue accompanied by military threats is of no interest to us."

Context: The statement attributed to a North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, run in full on the state-run KCNA news agency, was addressing the Pentagon's successful test of a midrange cruise missile at San Nicolas Island, California, on Sunday.

  • The test was the first of its kind since the U.S. officially pulled out of the Cold War-era Intermediate Nuclear Forces treaty with Russia, under which it would have been prohibited.

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

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How "naked ballots" could upend mail-in voting in Pennsylvania

Trump signs in Olyphant, Penn. Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

Pennsylvania's Supreme Court ordered state officials last week to throw out mail-in ballots submitted without a required inner "secrecy" envelope in November's election, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

The state of play: The decision went under the radar alongside the simultaneous decision to extend the time that mail-in ballots could be counted, but Philadelphia's top elections official warned state legislators this week that throwing out so-called "naked ballots" could bring "electoral chaos" to the state and cause "tens of thousands of votes" to be thrown out — potentially tipping the presidential election.

Commission releases topics for first presidential debate

Moderator Chris Wallace. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace has selected what topics he'll cover while moderating the first presidential debate between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden next week.

What to watch: Topics for the Sept. 29 debate will include Trump and Biden's records, the Supreme Court, COVID-19, economic policy, racism and the integrity of the election, the Commission for Presidential Debates announced on Tuesday. Each topic will receive 15 minutes of conversation and will be presented in no particular order.

Fed chair warns economy will feel the weight of expired stimulus

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Fed Chair Jay Powell bump elbows before House hearing on Tuesday. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday that the expiration of Congress' coronavirus stimulus will weigh on the U.S. economy.

Why it matters: Powell warned that the effects of dried-up benefits are a looming risk to the economy, even if the consequences aren't yet visible.

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