North Korea tests rocket engine, possibly for ballistic missile, say US officials
North Korea conducted another test of a rocket engine that the United States could be part of its development program for an intercontinental ballistic missile, Reuters told Reuters.
The United States considered the test, the latest in a series of tests of missile engines and this year, could be the smallest scenario of an ICBM rocket engine, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
A second US official also confirmed the test, but gave no further details about the type of rocket component that was tested or if it is part of the ICBM program.
The disclosure of the test engine comes a day after the United States urged China to exert more economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea to help control its nuclear and missile programs during a series of high-level talks in Washington.
US President Donald Trump warned that a “big, big conflict” with North Korea is possible through its weapons programs, although US officials say tougher sanctions, not military force, are the option Preferred.
North Korea called Trump a “psychopath” amid high tensions in Warmbier’s death
The USA. Calls on China to put more economic and diplomatic pressure to curb North Korea
Chief Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi told Trump at a White House meeting that Beijing was ready to “maintain communication and coordination” with the United States. In order to ease tensions on the Korean peninsula, according to a statement from the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Friday.
The head of the Defense Intelligence Agency of the United States said last month that North Korea, if unchecked, was on an “inevitable” path for a nuclear missile capable of landing on the American continent.
However, experts say Pyongyang could still be far from a reliable ICBM capability.
The continental United States is about 9000 km from North Korea. ICBMs have a minimum range of 5500 km, but some are designed with 10 000 km or more.
Any military solution to the crisis in North Korea would be “tragic on an incredible scale,” said Jim Mattis, Defense Secretary Trump, last month.
The US, in turn, increase its defense capabilities against the threat of North Korea by organizing its first successful test a missile to intercept incoming ballistic missiles in kind in May.
But on June 21, a new capability developed by the United States and Japan to fend off short-range missiles failed to reach its goal, the United States Missile Defense Agency said on Thursday.
It was the second test of the interceptor SM-3 Block IIA, developed by Raytheon. The previous interception test, conducted in February, has been a success.