North Korea 'conducts high-thrust engine test'


North Korean leader Kim Jong UnImage copyright
Reuters

Image caption

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reportedly called the launch “historic”

North Korea’s state media says its military has tested a new high-performance rocket engine.

Leader Kim Jong Un declared the test “a new birth” for the North’s rocket industry, state news agency KCNA said.

He said the engine would help North Korea achieve world-class satellite launch capability, it added.

The development, not confirmed elsewhere, comes as US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visits China – Pyongyang’s main ally.

Mr Tillerson’s East Asian tour has been dominated by anxieties over North Korea’s nuclear capabilities.

In South Korea on Friday, he said a US military response would be on the table if North Korea threatened South Korea or US forces.

The US and China pledged to work together to get the North to take “a different course” and move away from its weapons programmes after Mr Tillerson met his Chinese counterpart on Saturday.

Media captionHow do you solve a problem like North Korea?

North Korea has conducted five nuclear tests and a series of missile launches. Experts and government officials believe it is working to develop nuclear-warhead missiles that can reach the US.

Kim Jong Un has said the country is close to a test-launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile.


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