North Korea says it has test-fired a new anti-ship cruise missile, a move experts in Seoul see as an attempt to raise tensions ahead of joint military drills between the United States and South Korea.

The North's official Korean Central News Agency said Saturday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was on-site to observe the "ultra-precision" rocket being fired from a naval vessel in an exercise conducted by the country's East Sea fleet. The report did not mention the time or location of the exercise.

Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul, said North Korea was demonstrating its military capabilities ahead of next month's annual U.S.-South Korean drills, which Pyongyang says are a rehearsal for an invasion.