NORTH KOREA

Malta Independent - - WORLD -

Suc­cess­ful ground tests on new rocket en­gine

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has over­seen a ground test of a new rocket en­gine and or­dered a satel­lite launch prepa­ra­tion, state me­dia said Tues­day, an in­di­ca­tion the coun­try might soon con­duct a pro­hib­ited long-range rocket launch.

The United Na­tions and oth­ers view the North’s space launch de­vel­op­ment project as a cover for tests of mis­sile tech­nol­ogy, as bal­lis­tic mis­siles and rock­ets in satel­lite launches share sim­i­lar bod­ies, en­gines and other tech­nol­ogy. North Korea is also openly work­ing on de­vel­op­ing nu­clear-armed mis­siles ca­pa­ble of striking the U.S. main­land.

Kim di­rected the ground test of a high-pow­ered en­gine of a car­rier rocket for a geo-sta­tion­ary satel­lite at the So­hae Space Cen­ter in the coun­try’s north­west, ac­cord­ing to the of­fi­cial Korean Cen­tral News Agency.

Kim was quoted as or­der­ing of­fi­cials and sci­en­tists to com­plete prepa­ra­tions for a satel­lite launch as soon as pos­si­ble, amid “the en­e­mies’ harsh sanc­tions and moves to sti­fle” the North.

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