North Korea confirms latest weapons tests

North Korea confirmed its latest missile launches on Friday as leader Kim Jong Un toured a factory producing a quote "major weapons system."

That's according to state media agency KCNA, who said a long-range cruise missile system update and tactical guided missile warhead were tested earlier this week.

They marked six weapons tests so far this month, a flurry of activity that appears to be one of the busiest months ever for North Korea's missile program.

The launches displayed a wide variety of weapons types- and increasing sophistication.

Kim did not attend this week's tests, according to a separate dispatch, but applauded the major weapons progress in his visit to the munitions factory.

The launches triggered international condemnation and renewed calls for sanctions from the United States.

Last week, North Korea said it would boost its defenses against the U.S. and hinted at lifting a self-declared ban on testing nuclear bombs and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

None of those missiles or nuclear weapons have been tested in North Korea since 2017.

But it kicked off a string of short-range ballistic missile launches as denuclearisation talks with Washington stalled following a failed summit in Vietnam in 2019.

Pyongyang has defended its missile launches as self-defense, and accused the U.S. and South Korea of double standards.