N Korea believed to test new rocket engine to provoke US

11-Dec-2019 Intellasia | MilitaryTimes | 6:02 AM Print This Post

A day after North Korea said it had performed a “very important test” at its long-range rocket launch site, there is wide speculation that it involved a new engine for either a space launch vehicle or a long-range missile.

Whatever it was, the North Korean announcement suggests that the country is preparing to do something to provoke the United States if Washington doesn’t back down and make concessions in deadlocked nuclear negotiations.

A look at the North Korean test, which comes as a end of the year deadline set by North Korea for the US to salvage the nuclear talks is approaching.


According to the North’s Academy of National Defense Science, the test was conducted on Saturday at its Sohae Satellite Launching Ground in the northwest, where North Korea has conducted banned satellite launches and missile engine tests in recent years.

When North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met US President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in last year, he promised to dismantle this facility, better known as the Tongchang-ri site outside North Korea, as part of steps toward disarmament. The latest test lends credence to widespread skepticism about Kim’s seriousness in his commitment to denuclearisation that he repeated during meetings with Trump and Moon.

While no rocket or weapons launch from North Korea was detected over the weekend, many foreign experts speculate that North Korea tested a new high-thrust engine, which is needed to launch bigger, more powerful rockets.

Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Programme at the Middlebury Institute, tweeted that satellite images “suggest North Korea conducted a rocket engine test at Sohae.”



Category: Korea

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