SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea on Friday extended a provocative series of weapons tests by firing cruise missiles into the sea, as leader Kim Jong Un called for his military to step up war preparations and toured a shipyard.
South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the U.S. and South Korean militaries were analyzing the North Korean launches into its western sea. It said South Korea's military detected multiple missiles but it did not immediately provide a specific number or an assessment of their flights.
The launches, which were North Korea's fourth round of cruise missile tests in 2024, came hours after state media reported that Kim reiterated his focus on strengthening his naval forces as he inspected unspecified naval projects at a shipyard in Nampho on the west coast.
Kim in recent months has emphasized efforts to build a nuclear-armed navy to counter what he portrays as growing external threats posed by the United States, South Korea and Japan, which have stepped up their military cooperation in response to Kim's nuclear weapons and missile program.
North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency did not specify when Kim visited Nampho. It paraphrased Kim as saying that the strengthening of the navy “presents itself as the most important issue in reliably defending the maritime sovereignty of the country and stepping up the war preparations.”
KCNA did not specify the types of warships are being built in…