North Korea has said it successfully tested a recently developed solid-fuel engine, claiming the trial would pave the way to a “new strategic weapon system” after its military outlined plans to produce an upgraded intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
The test was carried out on Thursday morning at the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground in the coastal region of Cholsan, the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.
“The Academy of Defence Science succeeded in the static firing test of a high-thrust solid-fuel engine with a thrust of 140tf [ton-force], the first of its kind in the country,” the outlet said, adding that the “reliability and safety” of the new propulsion system were “scientifically confirmed.”
North Korea has successfully tested a "high-thrust solid-fuel motor" – it was tested at Sohae Satellite Launch Complex. Per NK leader, Kim Jong-un, another new-type of strategic weapon will be built in the shortest period (soon). pic.twitter.com/TWuJaQXl4B
— Global: Military-Info (@Global_Mil_Info) December 15, 2022
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who was present for the test-firing, praised the military after the trial, saying he expects “another new type of strategic weapon to appear in the shortest period of time.”
Kim cited the country’s latest five-year plan unveiled in January of 2021, when the ruling Workers’ Party announced plans to develop a new ICBM, smaller-yield tactical nuclear weapons, hypersonic munitions, nuclear-powered submarines and reconnaissance satellites, among other tech. More recently, Kim declared that North Korea’s “ultimate goal is to possess the world’s most powerful strategic force,” though said the country is already “a full-fledged nuclear power capable of standing against the nuclear supremacy of the US imperialists.”
Pyongyang has carried out a record number of weapons tests this year, including more than one ICBM launch, many in direct retaliation for joint US-South Korean wargames which the North regards as preparation for an attack. Washington and Seoul have slammed the demonstrations as destabilizing to the region, and repeatedly warned against further development of North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear programs.
South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo recently stated that Pyongyang would soon carry out its first nuclear detonation since 2017, echoing claims made by US officials for several months. Though he declined to say how Seoul might react to another nuclear test, the PM noted that the government has “all kinds of options.” Another senior official, Unification Minister Kwon Young-se, suggested last month that South Korea may consider acquiring nuclear weapons of its own should tensions with the North continue to escalate.
RT story with additional input by Global Village Space News Desk.