North Korea 'conducts high-thrust engine test'

Liquid-fuel rockets are much easier to spot with satellites because they require more outdoor preparation.

National police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said the new suspects are in addition to the seven North Koreans already being sought in last month's poisoning death of Kim Jong Nam at Kuala Lumpur's airport.

A North Korean military unit tasked with striking USA bases in Japan was involved in those launches, the state news agency said.

Last night, the North's KCNA news agency said its new rocket engine would help the state achieve world-class satellite-launch capability, indicating a new type of rocket engine for an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Trump's remarks came as US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson wrapped up his Asia tour consisting of stops in Tokyo, Seoul and Beijing.

A South Korean analyst said the latest engine test was an ominous development.

"Through this test, it is found that engine function has made meaningful progress", Mr Lee said during a news briefing, without divulging further details.

"They are from North Korea and we believe they are involved in the case, and we are looking for them", he told reporters after chairing a meeting on upgrading the police's central computer crime investigation unit at Le Grandeur Palm Resort, Senai.

Kim Jong-un, who tested a new type of high-thrust rocket yesterday, is misbehaving, according to Donald Trump.

On Thursday, police said Interpol issued a "red notice", the closest to an global arrest warrant, for four North Koreans wanted in connection with the murder.

"This was a comprehensive test for the first-stage rocket for an ICBM, and that is why it was unsafe", said Kim Dong-yub, an analyst at Seoul's Institute for Far Eastern Studies.

While in the past North Korea has been largely dependent on existing - mostly Soviet and Chinese technology - Schilling pointed out previous year that "we have now seen that North Korea can build large rockets using both solid and high-energy liquid propellants, to their own requirements".

The report indicated that the engine is to be used for North Korea's space and satellite-launching program.

North Korea has sparked worldwide fury by launching four missiles into the Sea of Japan, not long after the alleged assassination of Kim's brother Kim Jong-nam.

Mr Wang, however, chided the USA secretary of state over his recent tough talk, saying "we hope all parties, including our friends from the United States, can size up the situation in a cool-headed" fashion. The United Nations has banned North Korea from conducting long-range missile tests.

North Korea insists its space program is peaceful and focused on putting scientific satellites into orbit.

The US and China pledged to work together to get the North to take "a different course" and move away from its weapons programmes after Mr Tillerson met his Chinese counterpart on Saturday.

  • Leroy Wright