U.S. officials say North Korea tested rocket engine that could power ICBM

Katrina Barker
June 26, 2017

USA officials tell FOX the test could be used for a future inter-continental ballistic missile capable of hitting the United States or for a new rocket engine to put a satellite into space.

While President Moon Jae-in watched, the weapon, a type of Hyunmoo-2 missile, blasted off from a test site in Taean, a coastal county southwest of Seoul, the capital, the president's office said in a statement.

He quoted Moon as saying he supported dialogue, however, "dialogue is only possible when we have a strong military and engagement policies are only possible when we have the security capability to dominate North Korea".

North Korea's last rocket engine test came in March and was apparently timed to coincide with the visit of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Beijing, where he warned that regional tensions had reached a "dangerous level".

"It's true that some officials expressed concerns that the president attending the event might end up provoking North Korea", Park said.

A soldier from North Korea has defected to South Korea through the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) separating the two Koreas, making it the third such defection in just two weeks.

But the deal unraveled two months later as North Korea made an unsuccessful attempt to launch what it claims was a rocket to put an earth observation satellite into orbit.

North Korea has carried out five nuclear tests and is said to be preparing a sixth.

United States is, on the other hand, pressured to freeze the missile tests in North Korea.

New reports say North Korea is open to temporarily stopping its nuclear and missile testing program as long as the USA agrees to several demands.

While the Blue House said that the Hyunmoo 2 missile that was successfully test launched was a key weapon in the "kill chain", created to counter North Korean nuclear weapon and missile attacks, military analysts believe that the missile's range and accuracy make it an offensive weapon that could be used in a precision strike against the North Korean leadership. The previous intercept test, conducted in February, had been successful.

This news comes on the same day the USA military said it failed to shoot-down a ballistic missile using an interceptor missile fired from a us warship.

Earlier on Thursday, North Korea called Trump a "psychopath" as tensions escalated following the death of American student Otto Warmbier, who was evacuated in a coma from North Korean detention last week.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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