The “crucial test” was the latest in a string of developments aimed at deterring the US nuclear threat, state news agency KCNA reported on Saturday. The test was conducted on Friday at the Sohae satellite launch site, KCNA said. However, more details about the testing were not revealed.
In a later statement carried by KCNA, Chief of the General Staff Pak Jong Chon said the tests were designed to bolster North Korea’s defences by developing new weapons.
He said: “The priceless data, experience and new technologies gained in the recent tests of defence science research will be fully applied to the development of another strategic weapon of the DPRK for definitely and reliably restraining and overpowering the nuclear threat of the US.”
This was the second test at the Sohae facility in the space of a week.
KCNA said today that North Korea had carried out a “very important” test on December 7 at the satellite launch site.
This is a rocket-testing facility that US officials once said North Korea had promised to close.
That KCNA report called the test t a “successful test of great significance”.
South Korea’s defence minister Jeong Keong-doo added it was an engine test.
The reported tests come ahead of a year-end deadline North Korea has given the US to drop its insistence on unilateral denuclearisation by Pyongyang.
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Pak warned that the United States and others should avoid provoking North Korea if they wanted a peaceful end-of-year period.
He said: ”Our army is fully ready to thoroughly carry out any decision of the Supreme Leader with action.”
Pyongyang also has warned it could take a “new path” amid the failed talks with the US.
The top US envoy for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, US special envoy for North Korea, visited Seoul today for meetings with South Korean officials.