North Korea Tests Rocket Engine

Claudine Rigal
Juin 24, 2017

The United States is now under more pressure to freeze the missile tests conducted by North Korea after Otto Warmbier, the student who was imprisoned in the other half of South Korea for more than a year.

Moon has stressed a need to impose additional, stronger sanctions on the communist state if the North tests an intercontinental ballistic missile or conducts its sixth nuclear test. South Korean President Moon Jae-in observed the test-firing of a new midrange missile the country is developing to cope with growing threats from North Korea.

Moon watched the test during a visit to the Agency for Defense Development's facility in Taean County, along South Korea's western coast in Chungcheongnam-do province.

The engine test is the first since March, when North Korea executed three such rocket tests, Fox News reported.

"A rocket engine was tested today", the USA official said on condition of anonymity, without providing any details.

When Moon won South Korea's presidency last month, he was seen as likely to return to the "Sunshine Policy" of engaging with North Korea through dialogue and economic aid.

North Korea has accelerated the pace of nuclear tests and missile launches in its pursuit of a nuclear-tipped ICBM that could strike as far as the US mainland.

Moon's office did not disclose the details of the missile being tested, but South Korea has been working to develop ballistic missiles with a range of 500 miles, a voluntary cap under an agreement with the United States.

China's top diplomat met Trump at the White House on Thursday, where he said Beijing was willing to keep working with Washington to defuse tensions on the Korean peninsula, China's foreign ministry said.

North Korea is developing nuclear weapons and missiles at an alarming pace with its stated goal of launching an ICBM capable of hitting the USA mainland.

That money also helps pay for the country's nuclear and missile programmes, both of which Pyongyang believes it needs to deter any US-led attempt at regime change, experts say.

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

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