A North Korean state media photo of leader Kim Jong-un atop a white horse in the snow in North Korea. Photo: Korean Central News Agency

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un rode a white horse to Mt. Paektu and lashed out at sanctions imposed on the country, the state-run KCNA news agency reported Wednesday — hailing the action as "a great event of weighty importance."

The big picture: The images at the sacred, active volcano and accompanying proclamation that "there will be a great operation to strike the world with wonder again and make a step forward in the Korean revolution" comes days after denuclearization talks between North Korea and the U.S. broke down.

  • AP notes that North Korea has been hit by "11 rounds of sanctions since 2006" and that the second summit with President Trump in Hanoi, Vietnam, collapsed without a deal because the U.S. would not ease the harshest penalties.
No matter what persistent efforts the enemy makes, we can live well with our own efforts and pave the avenue to development and prosperity in our own way."
— Kim's statement, per KCNA

What they're saying: Per KCNA, Kim said the "situation of the country is difficult owing to the ceaseless sanctions and pressure by the hostile forces" but "our people grew stronger through the trials." He said the "pain the U.S.-led ... hostile forces inflicted upon the Korean people" had "turned into their anger."

Between the lines: About Kim going to Mt. Paektu, the BBC reports analysts saying "such gestures have been known to precede major announcements."

  • Joshua Pollack, a North Korea expert at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in California, told Reuters Kim was making a statement that's "symbolic of defiance."
  • "The pursuit of sanctions relief is over," Pollack told the news agency. "[I]t starts to set new expectations about the coming course of policy for 2020."

Go deeper: North Korea says U.S. "hell-bent on hostile acts" despite Trump-Kim talks

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Municipality workers clean the streets of garbage in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, on Tuesday that was left by Zeta, which struck the Yucatan Peninsula as a Category 1 Hurricane a day earlier — causing no major damage to infrastructure. Photo: Medios y Media/Getty Images

Tropical Storm Zeta is expected to strengthen back into a hurricane and bring dangerous storm surge conditions to parts of the northern Gulf Coast on Wednesday, per the National Hurricane Center.

The state of play: Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) requested a pre-landfall Federal Declaration of Emergency in a letter to President Trump on Tuesday, ahead of the storm's expected arrival south of New Orleans.

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The Trump campaign website briefly went down and its "About" page was modified after hackers attacked the site Tuesday evening.

The big picture: With just seven days before the election, the hackers emulated the FBI and declared on the "About" page that: "this was seized. the world has had enough of the fake-news spreaded [sic] daily by president donald j trump. it is time to allow the world to know truth." Two addresses linked to the cryptocurrency Monero appeared on the site. Trump campaign spokesperson Tim Murtaugh in a statement said no sensitive data had been exposed in the attack.

Go deeper: Twitter hack raises fears of an unstable election

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