Report: South Korea investigating North Korea rocket engine test

By Elizabeth Shim Contact the Author   |  June 23, 2017 at 12:58 PM
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June 23 (UPI) -- South Korea's military said Friday it is confirming whether North Korea conducted another rocket engine test on Wednesday, following a report from Fox News that the Kim Jong Un regime had tested a device in a region on the western coast of the peninsula.

Two U.S. officials who spoke to Fox on the condition of anonymity said the engine test took place in Yunsong, North Korea, where other tests had taken place.

The engine could "potentially be used on a future intercontinental ballistic missile or ICBM," according to the report.

North Korea conducted three rocket engine tests in March.

One of the tests, which took place at the Sohae satellite launch facility, was hailed as a "great leap forward" by North Korea state media.

On Friday a South Korean military official told local news service Newsis the army is "keeping a close watch" on the development and that it is investigating the plausibility of an intercontinental ballistic missile engine test.

In March after North Korea conducted three rocket engine tests. Seoul's defense ministry said afterward Pyongyang had made "meaningful progress" in the new rocket engine.

North Korea recently claimed it is closer to testing an ICBM that could potentially hit any target in the continental United States and concerns are growing the military is not ready for a potential attack.

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency said this week another test of its shoot-down capability failed on Wednesday night.

A midrange ballistic missile was launched from a test site in Hawaii, but an interceptor missile launched from USS John Paul Jones missed the target, the agency said.

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