SEOUL - North Korea has test-fired a new anti-ship cruise missile, images released by state media on Saturday showed, demonstrating the increased capability of the secretive state's outdated navy.
The images were released in the lead-up to US-South Korean military exercises this spring. North Korea routinely seeks to raise tensions ahead of the annual drills, although this year Pyongyang has also offered to suspend nuclear testing if Washington calls off the exercises.
The images, which were shown on the front page of the ruling Workers' Party Rodong Sinmun newspaper, showed leader Kim Jong Un observing the missile being fired from a small naval vessel.
State media described it as a "new type of cutting-edge anti-ship rocket" developed by North Korean scientists that will "bring a great change in the navy's defense of territorial waters."
The missile appeared identical in design to a Russian anti-ship missile, the KH-35, which is capable of flying at high speeds meters above the sea.