North Korea 'conducts high-thrust rocket engine test'

Mar 20, 2017, 00:26

North Korean officials have said that under a five-year plan they intend to launch more Earth observation satellites and what would be the country's first geostationary communications satellite - which would be a major technological advance. However, the regime has reportedly refused to scale down its missiles tests.

North Korea has conducted five suspected nuclear tests in the past, including two tests a year ago.

North Korea's military has tested a new high-performance rocket engine that its leader is calling a revolutionary breakthrough for the country's space programme.

Saturday's test at the Sohae satellite launching facility in North Pyongan Province measured the thrust power and movement in the engine's combustion chamber, as well as the engine's structural safety and reliability, the Korean Central News Agency said in a report. It said the engine met technical expectations.

Juche refers to North Korea's homegrown ideology of self-reliance.

Apparently satisfied with the outcome of the test, Kim is shown in the front-page photo celebrating, surrounded by cheering North Korean officials.

United States relations with China have been rocky, with China irritated at repeatedly being told to rein in the North.

En route to Beijing, Tillerson visited USA allies Japan and South Korea where he declared Washington would drop the "failed" approach of patient diplomacy with Pyongyang, warning that American military action against the North was "on the table".

Trump made the comments to reporters while departing his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, where he spent the weekend.

Investigators are also seeking seven North Korean suspects, four of whom left Malaysia on the day of the murder.

Its smaller size could mean that the rocket was built for a smaller missile - or for the second stage of a bigger missile, like an ICBM, she said.

At the time, Pyongyang checked an 80 ton force rocket that burned for 200 seconds.

It said the test was meant to confirm the engine's thrust power and gauge the reliability of its control system and structural safety.

Local sources, however, said that while the rocket seemed similar, the flames coming out of it were darker and they detected three smaller side thrusts surrounding the main column of flame leaving the engine.

"There is nothing about this rocket engine itself that makes me more terrified, but taken as a whole, it's pretty clear that they are trying to give us proof of their growing missile program", Hanham said.