North Korea's Kim Jong Un says engine test is 'new birth' of rocket industry

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 18, 2017 6:59 PM

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea conducted a test of a newly developed high-thrust engine at its Tongchang-ri rocket launch station and leader Kim Jong Un said the successful test was "a new birth" of its rocket industry, the country's official media said on Sunday.

The engine will help the country achieve world-class satellite launch capability, KCNA said, indicating the test was likely of a new type of rocket engine for long-range missiles.

The United States and China have pledged to work together to get the North to take "a different course" and move away from its weapons programs after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met his Chinese counterpart on Saturday.

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.

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

"He (Kim) noted that the success made in the current test marked a great event of historic significance as it declared a new birth of the Juche-based rocket industry," KCNA said. Juche refers to North Korea's homegrown ideology.

"He emphasized that the whole world will soon witness what eventful significance the great victory won today carries," KCNA said.

(Reporting by Jack Kim; Editing by Mary Milliken and James Dalgleish)