Kim Jong-Un supervised the test at the country’s Sohae satellite launching site, the Korean Central News Agency reported, where a rocket that allegedly carried a satellite was launched in February.
The engine tested would give the country “sufficient carrier capability for launching various kinds of satellites, including Earth observation satellites at a world level,” the report added.
The KCNA report further stated that Jong-Un called for more rocket launches to turn the country into a “possessor of geostationary satellites,” and he has allegedly requested that engineers prepare for a satellite launch as soon as possible.
Observers saw this as an indication that Pyongyang might soon launch another long-range rocket. However, the North insists its space program is purely scientific in nature but, the South, the US, and even China say the rocket launches are aimed at developing inter-continental ballistic missiles. North Korea regularly makes claims about the progress of its nuclear and missile programs, however, analysts claim most of them are impossible to independently verify.
Meanwhile, the US and China have agreed to increase cooperation at the United Nations to address North Korea’s fifth nuclear test, which was an underground operation conducted earlier this month that sparked global indignation. The US and Russia have already indicated that there will be imminent proliferation discussions at the UN as a result.
A resolution of condemnation is one course of action, seeing as it is unlikely that any of the Permanent Five on the Security Council will block it. However, the effectiveness of this proposal is unclear amidst the previous five sets of UN sanctions that carried arguably mediocre resonance.
As the North’s main ally and trading partner, China’s response will be the most important in establishing a progressive outcome.
But, as it currently stands, Beijing has not said directly whether it will support tougher steps against Pyongyang, despite an increasing intolerance of Kim Jong-un’s military actions.
Its support for toughened sanctions is crucial if they are to have any impact, but doubts persist within the international community as Beijing balances its opposition to Kim Jong-Un’s aggressive rhetoric with its desire to maintain a stable diplomatic relationship with its volatile neighbour.
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