North Korea tested rocket engine possibly for ICBM

Tensions between the USA and North Korea spiked once again last week when American student Otto Warmbier, who was serving a hard labour sentence in Pyongyang for allegedly stealing a propaganda sign, died shortly after returning home in a coma.

USA spy satellites have detected new activity at North Korea's underground nuclear test site that involve some modifications around one of the tunnel entrances to an underground test area, United States officials said.

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".

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, second from right, watches a test launch of the Hyunmoo-2 missile at the Agency for Defense Development in Anheung, South Korea on June 23, 2017.

"Given the increasing sophistication of North Korea's missile provocations, South Koreans are very curious about the extent of the South Korean military's missile capability".

North Korea has carried out another test of a rocket engine, the latest in a series of engine and missile tests this year.

A North Korean coach and 20 other ITF officials, mostly North Koreans, also came to South Korea.

The tests present a hard challenge to Moon as he has expressed a desire to reach out to Pyongyang.

The disclosure of the engine test came a day after the United States pressed China to exert more economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea to help rein in its nuclear and missile programs.

The North has carried out two atomic tests and dozens of missile launches since the beginning of past year in its quest to develop a missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to the continental United States - something Trump has vowed "won't happen".

A North Korean soldier defected to the South after crossing the heavily fortified border, a defence ministry spokesman said Saturday, the second soldier to defect this month.

The North, now under a raft of UN crippling sanctions over its military programs, says it will continue those programs until the United States ends its hostility toward the country, slamming the controversial deployment of US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) in South Korea.

The test follows about a dozen missiles launches this year, as well as three engine tests in March.

In the opening ceremony, a demonstration team from the North Korea-led International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) held a historic joint performance with a team from the South Korea-led World Taekwondo Federation.

  • Leroy Wright