North Korea says it tested rocket engine 'of historic significance'

It has threatened the U.S.in the past over joint military exercises with South Korea, and in January a senior North Korean told NBC News the country was ready to test-fire an ICBM "at any time, at any place".

China has agreed reluctantly to U.N. Security Council resolutions sanctioning North Korea, but is adamantly opposed to measures that might bring about a collapse of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's regime.

North Korea's state media released pictures of the high-thrust engine test overseen by leader Kim Jong Un, and reported him hailing it as "a new birth" of its rocket industry.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un observes the test of a new rocket engine, at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station in Tongchang Village, Cholsan County, North Pyongan Province, in photos from the March 19 edition of the Rodong Sinmun newspaper. "They have been "playing" the United States for years". He's acting very, very badly.

"The latest test is believed to have made some meaningful progress in engine functions", Seoul's defence ministry spokesman told reporters.

In a statement issued Sunday, North Korea claimed the test was a success, with Kim calling it "a great event of historic significance" for the country's indigenous rocket industry, a report from the official Korean Central News Agency said.

SEOUL-North Korea has likely mastered the technology to power the different stages of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and may show it off soon, analysts say, but it is likely still a long way from being able to hit the mainland United States.

A South Korean expert on rocket engineering said the test was ominous. "So we have 20 years of a failed approach", Donald Trump's top diplomat added.

But Mr Tillerson appeared to be soothing ties with Beijing, telling Mr Xi that "we know that through further dialogue we will achieve a greater understanding that will lead to a. strengthening of the ties between China and the United States and set the tone for our future relationship of cooperation".

"If they elevate the threat of their weapons program to a level that we believe requires action, that option is on the table", he said.

"There was a misunderstanding related to the North Korea-Malaysia joint-venture company which was set in Malaysia in 2005".

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

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

"I don t deny we are targeting new individuals including North Korean nationals involved in this murder and we will use all legal channels to apprehend them".

"The government is doing its best to be amicable to the countries so that the country would not shoot a missile", Chief Cabinet Counselor Atsushi Odani said.

  • Leroy Wright