South Korea

North Korea claims it tested "super-large" multiple rocket launcher

People watching a TV showing an image of a North Korean missile launch at the Seoul Railway Station on Aug. 10 in Seoul, South Korea. Photo: Chung Sung-Jun / Staff/ Getty Images

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un supervised the test-firing of a "newly developed super-large multiple rocket launcher," the country's state-run KCNA news agency reports.

Why it matters: This appears to be yet another demonstration of North Korea expanding its weapons arsenal apparently with the intention of increasing leverage ahead of the possible resumption of negotiations with the U.S. to denuclearize, as AP points out.

U.S. fails to stop South Korea from axing intelligence deal with Japan

Japan's PM Abe (L) and South Korea's President Moon at the 2017 APEC summit. Photo: Jorge Silva/AFP/Getty Images

South Korea plans to sever an intelligence-sharing agreement with Japan amid a crisis between the two key U.S. allies.

Why it matters: The Trump administration had urged South Korea not to take this step, which could hamper communication over the threat from North Korea. It came after Japan elected to slow exports of sensitive materials to South Korea on national security grounds, a move that provoked outrage and boycotts in South Korea. The bitter feud is linked to colonial-era abuses by Japan and looks unlikely to be resolved soon.