- 1440 Daily Digest
North Korea Missile Launches
North Korea's state-run media shared images yesterday of leader Kim Jong Un overseeing recent weapons tests, with officials describing the tests as a simulation of an attack on South Korea. The press blitz came as the country marked 77 years under its ruling Korean Workers' Party. The country has conducted a record number of missile tests this year—25 total, with seven in the last two weeks—including its first simulated launch of a tactical nuclear weapon. Observers say the tests underscore North Korea's plans to build military capabilities following failed disarmament talks with the US in 2019. US intelligence has long viewed North Korea's nuclear ambitions as both a deterrent against attacks and a tool of coercive diplomacy, leveraging the threat to force Western countries to lift sanctions. Reports suggest the country may soon carry out its first nuclear test since 2017 (how underground tests work).