North Korea tests rocket engine linked to nuclear missile programme

24 June 2017, 12:07 | Isaac Mcdaniel

The continental United States is around 5,600 miles (9,000 km) from North Korea.

May 14, North Korea has carried out another test launch of a ballistic missile a few days after the inauguration of the new President in South Korea.

The test follows about a dozen missile launches this year, as well as three engine tests in March.

May 27 member States of the G7 warned North Korea against further nuclear tests.

American officials said that the test was probably conducted in the past 24 hours and could represent one more step in the regime's efforts to create an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting the United States.

The rocket test was allegedly conducted on Wednesday at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station, where similar tests of the rocket technology took place on three occasions in March.

May 31, the USA military held exercises to repel attacks of Intercontinental ballistic missiles.

China's top diplomat, Yang Jiechi, told Trump in a meeting at the White House that Beijing was willing to "maintain communication and coordination" with the United States in an effort to defuse tension on the Korean peninsula, according to a statement from China's Foreign Ministry on Friday.

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North Korea's state media has not released a relevant report.

The news of the North's latest rocket engine test, possibly for the second or third stage of a missile, came amid concern that it has almost obtained full technology for an ICBM capable of hitting the US mainland.

Since hosting China's President Xi Jinping at his Mar-a-Lago Club in April, President Trump hoped China would help de-escalate tensions in the region following a series of ballistic missile tests, the report said.

Any military solution to the North Korea crisis would be "tragic on an unbelievable scale", Trump's defense secretary, Jim Mattis, said last month.

"This test could mean that North Korea has already completed development of the 2nd and third-stage ICBM engines".

It was the second such test of the SM-3 Block IIA interceptor, which is being developed by Raytheon.

If confirmed, the North's move marked the first time since March that it carried out a ground test of a new high-thrust rocket engine.



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