North Korea Tests Powerful New Rocket Engine

North Korea Tests Powerful New Rocket Engine

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is briefed by U.S. Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, commander of the United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command and United States Forces Korea (not pictured), as a North Korean soldier takes a photograph through a window at the border village of Panmunjom, South Korea, March 17, 2017.


WASHINGTON —

North Korea ground-tested a new high-thrust rocket engine, the country’s official news agency, KCNA, said Sunday.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said the test was successful and “emphasized that the world will soon witness the great significance of the epoch-making victory we achieved today,” KCNA reported.

The test consisted of firing the rocket engine while it was held in place on the ground, not powering a missile. The ignition took place at the Tongchang-ri rocket launch station, near the North’s border with China, according to KCNA, which said Kim Jong Un went to the site at dawn, “mounted an observation post and gave the order to start the test.”

From this same region, Pyongyang launched a satellite into space in February 2016 using banned intercontinental ballistic missile technology.

Possible ICBM engine tested

The state news agency quoted Kim as saying the new “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.” This also indicated the engine being tested was likely intended for use in long-range missiles.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who is on his first official trip to Asia this week, is now in China after visiting Japan and South Korea.

Tillerson has emphasized the need for a new approach to deal with the growing North Korean nuclear threat, and he stressed that the United States is willing to consider “all options” to rein in North Korea’s aggressive military policies.

Analysts say this could include some form of limited military action, and would certainly confront North Korea more directly that the diplomatic approach backed by former President Barack Obama, whose policy in the region was known as one of “strategic patience.”

North Korea Tests Powerful New Rocket Engine

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stands with his Chief of Staff Margaret Peterlin and deputy Commander of the Combined Force Command General Leem Ho-young (second from right) as two North Korean soldiers look at the south side in the border village of Panmunjom, which has separated the two Koreas since the Korean War, March 17, 2017.

Tensions at a ‘dangerous level’

In South Korea Friday, Tillerson said: “Let me be very clear, the Policy of Strategic Patience has ended. We are exploring a new range of diplomatic, security and economic measures. All options are on the table.”

Meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, on Saturday, Tillerson said tensions on the Korean Peninsula have reached a “rather dangerous level.”

“I think we share a common view and a sense that tensions in the peninsula are quite high right now,” Tillerson said. “We will work together to see if we cannot bring the government in Pyongyang to a place where they want to make a different course — make a course correction — and move away from the development of nuclear weapons.”

Earlier this month, North Korea fired four ballistic missiles into the sea off Japan in response to annual U.S.-South Korea military drills, which the North sees as a preparation for war.

Three of the missiles flew about 1,000 kilometers and landed in Japanese waters, the Pentagon said. U.S. officials said the weapons were medium-range rockets that did not pose a threat to North America.

VOA’s White House correspondent Steve Herman, Brian Padden in Seoul and Carla Babb at the Pentagon contributed to this report.



Add Comment

all comments

  Other news

more
Michael Nyqvist – star of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – dies aged 56

Michael Nyqvist – star of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – dies aged 56..

28-Jun, 04:54

The Swedish actor had been battling lung cancer He starred alongside...

Peter Andre goes busking in support of the homeless – see the photo here!

Peter Andre goes busking in support of the homeless – see the photo here!..

28-Jun, 15:54

Peter Andre is a natural on the stage – and is pretty good at busking...

The trouble with being a handsome bird

The trouble with being a handsome bird..

28-Jun, 13:06

Male birds often use brightly colored plumage to be attractive to...

Fecal bacteria found in drinks sold by UK’s top three coffee chains

Fecal bacteria found in drinks sold by UK’s top three coffee chains..

28-Jun, 09:00

Traces of fecal bacteria have been found in drinks sold by Britain’s...

The Latest: French socialist leader says party needs revamp

The Latest: French socialist leader says party needs revamp..

24-Apr, 02:48

The Latest on the French election (all times local): 8:40 a.m. Former...

Report: 5.7 quake jolts remote northern region in Iran

Report: 5.7 quake jolts remote northern region in Iran..

13-May, 15:36

Iran's official IRNA news agency is reporting that a 5.7 magnitude...

White Men Still Dominate Amid 'Negligible' Gains in Boardroom Diversity, Study Finds

White Men Still Dominate Amid 'Negligible' Gains in Boardroom Diversity, Study Finds..

06-Feb, 17:26

The percentage of women and minorities holding corporate board seats at...

Dennis Rodman speaks out about his visit to North Korea

Dennis Rodman speaks out about his visit to North Korea..

23-Jun, 07:55

Former professional basketball player Dennis Rodman spoke out in an...