• News Update 9/13/2021

North Korea says it has successfully tested a new type of long-range cruise missile.

The North's state-run Korean Central News Agency reported that two missiles were launched on Saturday and Sunday, with both traveling more than 1,500 kilometers.

The BBC's Laura Bicker reports from Seoul.

Weapons experts analyzing the pictures in state media said this was the first time they had seen Pyongyang test this weapon.

This was a long-range cruise missile not a long-range ballistic missile, which means it's not subject to the same U.N. Security Council resolutions focused on curbing North Korea's nuclear program.

But analysts say this weapon is capable of carrying a warhead.

Cruise missiles are propelled by jet engines.

So they stay closer to the ground, making them harder to detect.


South Korea is working closely with U.S. intelligence authorities to analyze North Korea's latest action.

Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff said Monday they are checking to see where the tests were conducted and if they were detected in advance.

The Pentagon, meanwhile, said the firings posed a "threat" to the region and the international community.

The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement that the American military will continue to monitor the situation with allies and partners.

▶ KDCA Records Over 1,400 New COVID-19 Cases

Local health authorities have reported 1,433 new cases of COVID-19 and one more virus-related fatality.

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said it confirmed 1,409 local infections and 24 imported cases in the last 24 hours.

The latest caseload was down 322 from Sunday's 1,755 cases, due mostly to less testing over the weekend.

The country has recorded 274,415 coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic, and 2,360 deaths.

In recent months, the fast spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant and infections in the densely-populated capital region have been hampering the authorities' containment efforts, with more than 70 percent of domestic cases reported in Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi Province.

Health officials are bracing for new surges after the major Chuseok holiday next week, when millions of people are expected to travel across the country to meet relatives.


Britain has decided not to require vaccine passports for entry into nightclubs and other crowded events in England, reversing course amid opposition from some of the Conservative government's supporters in Parliament.

The health secretary said on Sunday the government has shelved the idea of vaccine passports for now, but could reconsider the decision if COVID-19 cases rise exponentially once again.

The U-turn came just days after the government's vaccines minister and the culture secretary suggested that vaccine passports would still be necessary, despite growing opposition from lawmakers.

Such passports are required in other European countries, like France.


Heavy rain is forecast hit Jeju Island and other southern provinces this week due to the indirect effects of Typhoon Chanthu.

As of early this morning, the storm was located off the coast of Taiwan and heading towards Shanghai, China.

According to the KMA, the typhoon will veer toward the Korean Peninsula later this week. 

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