North claims successful rocket test

Home > National > Politics

print dictionary print

North claims successful rocket test

테스트

In this photo released in October 2015, what is believed to be an improved version of the KN-08 intercontinental ballistic missile is paraded in Pyongyang. [AP /NEWSIS]

North Korea’s latest belligerent declaration - that it successfully tested a new long-range rocket engine that could allow nuclear strikes on the U.S. mainland - leaves outsiders in a familiar predicament.

With only a few details and no independent confirmation of what happened, there’s the usual skepticism. But if even only part of the long list of nuclear and missile work that the North has boasted of successfully completing since its fourth nuclear test in January is true, Pyongyang would seem to be barreling ahead toward its goal of nuclear-armed long-range missiles.

The claim Saturday of a successful ground test of an intercontinental ballistic rocket engine, if true, would be another big step forward for young leader Kim Jong-un. But South Korean officials say North Korea doesn’t yet have a reliable intercontinental ballistic missile, let alone the ability to arm it with a nuclear warhead.

The problem, as always, is that nothing has come close to checking North Korea’s advance. International nuclear disarmament talks have been stalled for years, and round after round of tough U.N. sanctions have done little to halt the North’s nuclear tests and long-range rocket launches, both of which are crucial to developing a nuclear missile arsenal.

The engine test, announced by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency, follows last month’s launch of a medium-range ballistic missile that violated U.N. Security Council resolutions that prohibit any ballistic activities by North Korea. It was the North’s first medium-range missile launch since early 2014.

North Korea has also threatened pre-emptive nuclear strikes against Washington and Seoul and fired short-range missiles and artillery into the sea.

In Washington, State Department spokesman Mark Toner called on North Korea to “refrain from actions and rhetoric that further destabilize the region and focus instead on taking concrete steps toward fulfilling its commitments and international obligations.”

AP

More in Politics

Injunction gives Yoon his job back, at least temporarily

Prosecutors implore Choo to reconsider suspension

Blue House aide draws fire for football game amid virus restrictions

Tensions rise between prosecution, Ministry of Justice ahead of court review

Opposition jumps on idea of Assembly probe of Choo

Log in to Twitter or Facebook account to connect
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
help-image Social comment?
lock icon

To write comments, please log in to one of the accounts.

Standards Board Policy (0/250자)

What’s Popular Now