North Korea conducts rocket engine test to develop ICBM
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 25, 2017,
Jun 25, 2017, 10:57
South Korean President Moon Jae-in watched his military test-fire a ballistic missile on Friday, after a string of North Korean missile tests were blamed for raising tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
United States officials speaking anonymously to several news agencies said the latest engine test, on Thursday, could be one stage of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) engine that would be able to reach the US.
"President Moon's visit to the Agency for Defense Development today sends a stern warning about North Korea's series of recent provocations".
One of the tests, which took place at the Sohae satellite launch facility, was hailed as a "great leap forward" by North Korea state media. "We need to be more realistic and talk to them and give them incentives if they freeze their nuclear and missile programs".
"I am a believer in dialogue, but I also know that dialogue is possible when we have a strong national defense", Mr. Moon was quoted as saying from the missile test site. The previous intercept test, conducted in February, had been successful.
"Judging from the speed of North Korea's advancements in nuclear and missile technologies I believe they will acquire such capability in the near future".
"A policy of embracing North Korea is possible when we have a defence capability that surpasses that of North Korea".
The Hyunmoo-2C missile system is considered to be the centerpiece of the Kill Chain system because of its capability of hitting targets throughout the North.
The test came on the heels of news report that North Korea conducted a rocket engine test that appeared to be part of its ICBM missile program, according to Reuters.
This is seen as an unwelcome delay by USA officials, though in reality Moon's government is likely looking to see if they can get out of the scheme entirely, as they've expressed discomfort at hosting the U.S. system, which is not only seen as a hostile action toward North Korea, but against China as well.
Pyongyang says the advanced missile system threatens its sovereignty, while Seoul claims that THAAD only serves as deterrence against North's possible attacks.