N Korea hails ‘successful’ test of new rocket engine

Agence France-Presse . Seoul

North Korea has successfully tested a new, high-powered rocket engine, state media said Tuesday, a move Seoul said was designed to showcase its progress towards being able to target the US east coast.
The ground test comes less than two weeks after Pyongyang detonated what it said was a miniaturised atomic bomb.
Taken together, the two tests raise the prospect that the isolated state could be inching towards its ultimate goal of developing a nuclear-tipped missile that could hit Washington DC.
State-run news agency KCNA trumpeted the engine test, which it said would give the country ‘sufficient carrier capability for launching various kinds of satellites’.
Rocket engines are easily re-purposed for use in missiles, and outside observers say that Pyongyang’s space programme is a fig leaf for weapons tests.

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