NKorea tests new high-thrust engine

The announcement suggests North Korea tested a rocket engine for a long-range missile as part of its weapons program.

Kim Jong Un has said North Korea is close to a test-launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile.

The killing of Kim Jong-un's estranged half-brother at the Kuala Lumpur airport February demonstrates this: Beijing reportedly saw Kim Jong-nam as a possible replacement, but Malaysian authorities believe North Korean operatives engineered his assassination by having young women smear his face with a highly toxic nerve agent.

Kim Jong Un "noted that the success made in the current test marked a great event of historic significance as it declared a new birth of the Juche-based rocket industry", the report said.

It staged its two latest nuclear tests a year ago and recently fired off missiles which it described as practice for an attack on US bases in Japan, in a challenge to US President Donald Trump.

North Korea's watchdog, 38 North, said the deeper the tunnel goes beneath Mount Mantap, the bigger the blast which can be contained there during testing.

The rocket engine that North Korea tested appeared to be powered with liquid fuel, according to Melissa Hanham, an expert at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, rather than the solid fuel the regime's engineers have been working on recently.

While the missiles themselves weren't new, the tactic was, analysts said.

"We do not want to interfere in (other country's) political matters, but it is our responsibility to investigate a murder case which occurred within our jurisdiction".

The test occurred as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was due to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing.

"Obviously we have a very bad relationship with them, we're not pals, [but] to be able to exert influence on North Korea.is to encourage our friends in the region who I think are rightfully concerned with North Korea as well to step up".

Tillerson said of the USA and China, "we will work together to see if we can not bring the government in Pyongyang to a place where they want to make a different course - make a course correction and move away from their development of their nuclear weapons".

The test was successfully carried out, KCNA reported. "Although I can't reveal who they are, we believe there is an "important person" among them", he told state media.

Its smaller size could mean that the rocket was built for a smaller missile - or for the second stage of a bigger missile, like an ICBM, she said.

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