North Korea rocket test shows 'meaningful progress'

30 March, 2017, 01:48 | Author: Essie Rivera

North Korea had conducted a test of a new high-thrust engine at its rocket launch station.

Trump told reporters on Sunday he held meetings on North Korea over the weekend and said Kim was "acting very, very badly".

Malaysian police are expected to make a few more arrests, including an "important person", in connection with the murder of Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, state media reported today.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who presently is in South East Asia, had said earlier that Washington would consider military action against North Korea if it was provoked.

"It appears that North Korea has worked out much of its development of the first-stage rocket booster", he said.

As aerospace engineer John Schilling wrote in January, North Korea's primary space launch vehicle, the Unha-3, "could be pressed into service as a crude ICBM".

A US administration official declined to give a specific technical assessment of the test but said it showed North Korea was "150 percent" committed to its weapons programs. The simultaneous firings appeared created to outsmart the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense antimissile battery that the United States is deploying to South Korea, which would have difficulty shooting down four targets at once.

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A growing threat from the North has prompted Seoul and Washington to begin installing a powerful U.S. missile defence system in the South - angering Beijing, which views it as a threat to China's own missile capabilities.

"Since the comparable display of 2016 was the first stage of an ICBM, we could speculate that this is the second stage", Pollack told Reuters in an email. "And the better they can improve their technology to do that, the more accurate these systems are going to be - not only from leaving the pad, but also going into the atmosphere and then hitting the target on the other side".

"There is nothing about this rocket engine itself that makes me more terrified, but taken as a whole, it's pretty clear that they are trying to give us proof of their growing missile program", Hanham said.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said this year the country was close to test-launching an ICBM, prompting U.S. President Donald Trump to tweet: "It won't happen!"

North Korea has conducted five nuclear tests and a series of missile launches and is believed by experts and government officials to be working to develop nuclear-warhead missiles that can reach the United States.

Last fall, the US and South Korean militaries detected at least two failed missile launches by North Korea.

"No matter what happens, we have to stay committed to diplomatic means as a way to seek peaceful settlement", Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.

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