North Korea Reports Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Engine Test
North Korea claims it has successfully tested a new engine for an intercontinental ballistic missile, under direct supervision of leader Kim Jong Un.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – North Korean leader Kim Jong-un issued an order to conduct on Saturday the "jet test of a new type high-power engine of inter-continental ballistic rocket and personally came to the Sohae Space Center to guide the test," North Korea's Central News Agency (KCNA) said as quoted by South Korea's Yonhap news agency on Saturday.
Tensions on the Korean Peninsula escalated after North Korea successfully carried out a hydrogen bomb test in early January and put a satellite into orbit a month later, violating UN Security Council resolutions and triggering condemnation from the international community.
Kim Jong Un said on Saturday that the new ballistic missile engine test was a "great success" and "provided a firm guarantee for mounting another form of nuclear attack upon the U.S. imperialists and other hostile forces and made it possible to have access to more powerful means capable of reacting to nukes in kind."
North Korea has reportedly allocated 15.8 percent of the 2016 state budget for defense purposes.
In March, North Korea conducted multiple short and medium-range rocket launches.
In response to North Korea's recent activities, South Korea and the United States have launched large-scale military drills in the region. The exercises, expected to last through April 30, include rehearsals of strikes on North Korea's missile and nuclear facilities in case of war.
Pyongyang has labeled the drills as provocation.
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