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Defence News 22/03/2017
North Korea ground-tests new 'high-thrust' rocket engine

North Korea has carried out a ground test of a "Korean-style, high-thrust engine" developed by the country's Academy of the National Defence Science, the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on 19 March.

"The test was conducted to confirm the overall technical indices of the engine such as features of thrust power in the combustion chamber, accurate movement of turbine pump, control system, and various valves and their structural safety and reliability," the KCNA reported.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who oversaw the event at the Sohae Satellite Launch Station - also known as the Tongchang-ri Missile and Space Launch Facility - was quoted as saying that the test "marked a great event of historic significance as it declared a new birth of the Juche-based rocket industry".

Kim added that "the whole world" would "soon witness what eventful significance the great victory won [on 19 March] carries": an indication that Pyongyang is likely to continue engaging in provocative actions, despite warnings and condemnation by the international community.

The North Korean leader added that the development and completion of this new type of engine "would help consolidate the scientific and technological foundation to match the [country's] world-level satellite delivery capability in the field of outer space development".

Yonhap news agency quoted a South Korean defence ministry official a day later as saying that the North's latest rocket engine test was a "meaningful" advance in Pyongyang's development of weapons of mass destruction.

US Department of Defense spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said the test was "consistent with the pattern we've seen by North Korea to continue to develop their ballistic missile programme", according to Reuters news agency.

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