The North Korean News Agency announced Sunday morning that the communist regime had ground tested a new high-powered, high-thrust rocket engine to be used to launch satellites into orbit. The North’s “Dear Leader,” Kim Jong-un, said the test was a ‘great, revolutionary victory’ for the country and its space program.
The test was conducted at the Sohae launch site and meant to gauge the thrust power, and the safety and control features of the new engine design. North Korea is prohibited by the U.N. from testing ballistic missiles but space research is acceptable under international sanctions. The regime declares it will place navigation and other systems into orbit and eventually make a shot for the Moon.
KCNA reported Kim called the test “a great event of historic significance” for the country’s indigenous rocket industry, wrote the Associated Press. He added, the “whole world will soon witness what eventful significance the great victory won today carries” and claimed the test marks what will be known as the “March 18 revolution” for the regime’s space efforts.
American Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is in Asia meeting with the Chinese and U.S. allies and this test was obviously meant to show that the North will continue to develop a nuclear ICBM capability and has not been deterred by any Western actions to date. Tillerson famously commented recently that, “The era of strategic patience is over.”
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