N. Korea Tests Intercontinental Missile Engine

Write : 2017-03-20 00:00:02 Update : 2017-03-21 10:03:27

N. Korea Tests Intercontinental Missile Engine

Anchor: As the U.S. secretary of state was visiting Beijing over the weekend, Pyongyang tested a high-thrust jet engine for an intercontinental ballistic missile. The regime then publicized the engine experiment as Secretary Rex Tillerson visited Chinese President Xi Jinping. Experts say that the North appears to be planning an ICBM test launch for next month to show off its capability to strike the U.S. mainland.
Kim Bum-soo has more. 
 
Report: North Korea has tested a new high-thrust rocket engine.
 
[Sound bite: Korean Central Television (Mar. 19)]
"We have developed a higher thrust engine than the previous ones completely on our own."  
 
According to the regime's state-run media on Sunday, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un attended the ground test of the rocket engine on Saturday.
 
A closer look at the exhaust flames shows that the North attached four auxiliary engines to the main engine. 
 
This time the North did not claim the engine is for a satellite launch, instead calling the test part of its weapons development program.
 
The young North Korean leader was seen hugging scientists as the media claimed the test was successful. 
 
[Sound bite: Korean Central Television (Mar. 19)]
"Dear supreme leader expressed his big satisfaction towards the successful ground exhaust test of the new high-thrust engine."
"He stressed that the world will soon witness the historic meaning of the great victory today."
 
The North's Korean Central Television cited Kim as saying that the world will soon witness the historic meaning of the test, which he called the "March 18th revolution."
 
[Sound bite: Korean Central Television (Mar. 19)]
"He was filled with joy to say that it is the historic day that can be dubbed, "March 18th revolution," a day that cannot be forgotten forever." 
 
The test was carried out on the same day U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited Beijing and was publicized the following day as the top American envoy met Chinese President Xi Jinping.  
 
Senior Researcher Moon Sung-mook of the Korea Research Institute for National Strategy said that the timing is intentional.
 
[Sound bite: Moon Sung-mook - Senior researcher, Korea Research Institute for National Strategy (Korean)]
"It wanted to show that 'we are alright' no matter what kind of pressure by the U.S. and the international community." 
 
CNN cited U.S. officials last week as saying that the North was moving its equipment for an intercontinental ballistic missile launch.
 
Experts said that Pyongyang could be planning to test launch an ICBM on the 105th birthday of its late founder Kim Il-sung on April 15th or on the 25th, which marks the 85th anniversary of the establishment of the Korean People's Army.
Kim Bum-soo, KBS World Radio News. 


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