North Korea fires more cruise missiles, launches record-breaking streak this year

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North Korea fires more cruise missiles, launches record-breaking streak this year

North Korea has tested-fired more long-range cruise missiles and short-range ballistic missiles, part of a record-breaking streak of launches this year, state media says.

Pyongyang has conducted six weapons tests since the beginning of the year, including hypersonic missiles, one of the most intense barrages in a calendar month on record, while ignoring the US offers of talks.

Washington imposed new sanctions in response, prompting Pyongyang to double down on weapons testing and announcing last week that it could abandon a years-long self-imposed moratorium on nuclear and long-range tests.

Kim visited a munitions factory that produces a major weapon system, KCNA said.

A beaming Kim, wearing his usual long black-belted leather coat, is seen surrounded by uniformed officials in a photograph released by the news agency.

Kim appreciated the factory's innovative work and leaping progress in producing major weapons, KCNA reported.

The string of tests comes at a delicate time in the region, with Kim's sole major ally, China, set to host the Winter Olympics next month and South Korea gearing up for a presidential election in March.

North Korea is preparing to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the birth of late leader Kim Jong-il in February, as well as the 110th birthday of founder Kim Il-sung in April.