North Korea has conducted a test of a new high-thrust engine at its Tongchang-ri rocket launch station and leader Kim Jong Un said the successful test was “a new birth” of its rocket industry, the reclusive North’s official media said on Sunday (March 19).
The engine would help North Korea achieve world-class satellite launch capability, KCNA said, indicating the test was of a new type of rocket engine for long-range missiles.
The announcement comes as the United States and China pledged to work together to get the North to take “a different course” and move away from its weapons programs after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met his Chinese counterpart on Saturday.
North Korea has conducted five nuclear tests and a series of missile launches, in defiance of U.N. sanctions, and is believed by experts and government officials to be working to develop nuclear-warhead missiles that could reach the United States. Kim Jong Un has said North Korea is close to a test-launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile.