Published: Mon, March 20, 2017
World | By Carl Welch

North Korea tests new rocket engine, state media report

North Korea tests new rocket engine, state media report

The media outlet said the test was conducted to confirm the overall technical indices of the engine, such as features of its thrust power in the combustion chamber, accurate movement of the turbine pump, control system and various valves, and their structural safety and reliability.

"The world will soon fully realize the importance of North Korea's test of this powerful engine", Kim was quoted as saying.

North Korean news agencies reported last night (Saturday) that a new type of high-thrust rocket engine has been tested. It was developed without "dependence on the technology of other countries", KCNA said.

Since the Korean War ended with an armistice nearly 65 years ago, relations between the US and North Korea have often been on a scary roller-coaster ride - another military confrontation always in the offing.

The crisis in bilateral relations that broke out after Kim's assassination has already resulted in Malaysia and North Korea declaring each other's ambassadors personae non grata earlier in March.

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

Outside observers say the nuclear-armed Pyongyang's space programme is a fig leaf for military use, as rocket engines are easily re-purposed for missiles.

The test occurred as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was due to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing. "Although I can't reveal who they are, we believe there is an "important person" among them", he told state media.

Malaysian authorities have announced that the hunt is continuing for more suspects in the controversial case related to the killing of the half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

One clue as to whether the North has made strides in its engine capability can be found in one of the eight photos published on the Rodong's front page on Sunday, which shows the engine flame.

The Juche ideology is North Korea's guiding philosophy of self-reliance. "China has done little to help!"

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.

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