SEOUL, South Korea (AFP) — North Korea has examined a robust new rocket engine, state media mentioned Sunday, with chief Kim Jong-Un hailing the profitable test as a “new birth” for the nation’s rocket business.
The test was apparently timed to coincide with the go to of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Beijing Saturday, the place he warned that regional tensions had reached a “dangerous level”.
State information company mentioned Kim had overseen the operation, and “emphasised that the whole world will soon witness what eventful significance the great victory won today carries”, KCNA reported, hinting that the North might use the brand new engine to launch a rocket to place a satellite tv for pc in orbit.
Rocket engines are simply re-purposed for use in missiles.
Outside observers say that the nuclear-armed Pyongyang’s area programme is a fig leaf for weapons exams.
“The development and completion of a new-type high-thrust engine would help consolidate the scientific and technological foundation to match the world-level satellite delivery capability in the field of outer space development,” KCNA reported.
“The leader (Kim) noted that the success made in the current test marked a great event of historic significance as it declared a new birth of the Juche-based rocket industry.”
On Saturday, the US and China pledged to work collectively to handle the risk posed by North Korea’s nuclear programme.
Tillerson has additionally visited US allies Japan and South Korea the place he mentioned the US would not observe the “failed” strategy of affected person diplomacy with Pyongyang, warning that American navy motion towards the North was “on the table”.
The more durable US discuss adopted two North Korean nuclear exams final yr and up to date missile launches that Pyongyang described as follow for an assault on US bases in Japan.
The final floor test of a high-powered rocket engine was in September final yr, which was additionally noticed by Kim.
Kim at the moment hailed the test and referred to as for extra rocket launches to show the nation right into a “possessor of geostationary satellites in a couple of years to come”.
A geostationary satellite tv for pc should be propelled to an altitude of 36,000 kilometres (22,500 miles) and North Korea is exhibiting off its progress in creating a long-range inter-continental ballistic missile that may attain the US east coast, Professor Yang Moo-Jin of the University of North Korean Studies mentioned.
“The North is hinting strongly that it will soon launch a new satellite rocket” from its Sohae satellite tv for pc launch website, Yang instructed AFP.
It can also perform a secretive intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test utilizing a cellular launcher, he added.
“The test is timed with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to the United States,” and the anniversary of the founding of North’s military, he famous.
Negotiations are beneath method for Xi’s first summit with US President Donald Trump subsequent month within the United States.
© Agence France-Presse