North Korea Revs the Engine of Its New High-Thrust Missile

by admin March 19, 2017 at 2:41 am

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea conducted a ground jet test of a newly developed high-thrust missile engine, the country’s state-run news media said on Sunday, even as Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson is in the region discussing tougher strategies to help end the North’s nuclear and missile programs.

The Korean Central News Agency said the test took place at the same northwest facility where the country has been launching rockets to put satellites into orbit, which Western officials have said were efforts to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Although North Korea has never flight-tested an intercontinental ballistic missile, it has recently demonstrated significant progress in its missile programs with new engines that could potentially deliver a nuclear warhead as far away as the United States.

Mr. Tillerson is in Asia, holding discussions with Japan, South Korea and China. In Seoul, South Korea, on Friday, he said that two decades of international efforts to end North Korea’s nuclear weapons program have failed, and he warned that all options should be on the table, including pre-emptive military action.

In August, North Korea said it had successfully tested a submarine-launched ballistic missile, after failing on several earlier attempts. Last month, it launched a new type of intermediate-range ballistic missile it said could carry a nuclear payload. And earlier this month, North Korea launched four ballistic missiles at the same time.

Since Kim Jong-un took power in 2011, North Korea has launched 46 ballistic missiles, including 24 last year, in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions, according to South Korean officials.

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