North Korea claims success in test of new ICBM engine, considers step critical in development

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North Korea successfully tested a powerful missile engine this week that could be employed as part of a future intercontinental ballistic missile, officials in Pyongyang said Friday.

Scientists succeeded in a static firing test of the high-thrust solid-fuel motor on Thursday at North Korea’s Sohae Satellite Launching Ground, according to the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

“The aim of this test was to verify all specifications of the high-thrust solid-fuel motor based on the thrust vector controlling technology,” KCNA said Friday. “This important test has provided a sure scientific-technical guarantee for the development of another new-type strategic weapon system.”

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was on hand for Thursday’s test of the missile engine. The country has conducted a number of missile tests this year in defiance of international sanctions intended to restrict North Korea’s nuclear program.

A test of the missile engine was considered a critical step in North Korea’s five-year plan to develop its strategic weapons system.

Mr. Kim “gave warm encouragement to its scientists and technicians, expressing the expectation that another new-type strategic weapon would be made in the shortest span of time,” KCNA reported.

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