Fears over ‘important test’ at North Korea’s long-range rocket launch site
NORTH KOREA said it had carried out a “very important test” at its long-range rocket launch site.
The site had been partially dismantled when North Korea entered denuclearization talks with the United States last year, but it has been reportedly been rebuilt.
Prospects for a resumption of talks have dimmed. The North has warned it would seek “a new way” if it failed to gain major US concessions by year’s end.
President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in discussed developments in North Korea this weekend.
US-North Korea diplomacy largely remains deadlocked since the summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in February, due to disputes over how much sanctions relief the North must get in return for dismantling its key nuclear complex.
North Korea has warned the US must abandon hostile policies and come out with acceptable proposals by the end of this year or it would take an unspecified new path. A North Korean spokesman said the test at the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground would have “an important effect on changing the strategic position of (North Korea) once again in the near future”.
North Korea did not say what the test included. Analyst Kim Dong-yub said North Korea likely tested for the first time a solid-fuel engine for an intercontinental ballistic missile. The use of solid fuel increases a weapon’s mobility.
North Korea has said its satellite launches are part of its peaceful space development programme. But many experts say ballistic missiles and rockets used in satellite launches share similar bodies and other technology. North Korea’s UN ambassador, Kim Song, said denuclearization had “already gone out of the negotiation table”.
DONALD TRUMP: President held telephone talks with South Korea over the North.