SEOUL – North Korea’s latest test of a new engine for rockets marks significant progress in its weapons development program, the South Korean Defense Ministry said on Monday.
A spokesperson for the Ministry in Seoul told EFE that images of the test, which was carried out on Sunday, and other related data indicate “engines with good efficiency.”
South Korea’s statement comes a day after Pyongyang had reported leader Kim Jong-un had attended the testing of the new propulsion technology, believed to consist of a main engine and four auxiliaries, at the Sohae launch base.
North Korean news agency KCNA called the test an event of historical significance that represents a new era for the Juche rocket industry.
The test had coincided with the visit of the United States State Secretary, Rex Tillerson, to South Korea and the annual joint military maneuvers of Seoul and Washington and has led to speculation that Pyongyang may conduct a long-range missile test in the near future.
In his New Year’s message, Kim Jong-un had said the hermetic country is in the final stages of building an intercontinental ballistic missile.
Pyongyang has been doggedly working toward developing accurate and far-reaching projectiles with nuclear weapons small enough to be fitted on missiles that could reach US territory.