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North Korea conducts rocket engine test

26 June 2017

The officials told Reuters they believed the test could be part of Pyongyang's programme to develop an inter-continental ballistic missile.

The news of another rocket engine test by Pyongyang comes as an United States official said on Wednesday there were signs of increased activity at North Korea's lone nuclear test site.

"I am a believer in dialogue, but I also know that dialogue is possible when we have a strong national defense", Moon was quoted as saying from the missile test site.

Despite sanctions and worldwide pressure, North Korea has repeatedly vowed to further develop its missile and nuclear weapons program, viewing it as a deterrent against what it claims is Washington's hostile policy against it.

On Wednesday, Mr Trump thanked China for its help on pressuring North Korea, but said it hadn't worked, in what some read as a tweet criticising Beijing for inaction.

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South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday observed a test-firing of a new midrange missile the country is developing to cope with growing threats from North Korea.

The US keeps some 28,500 troops in South Korea as a deterrent against North Korea, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War that ended in a cease-fire, not a peace treaty.

The officials told Fox News that the latest engine test on Thursday was conducted in the city of Yun Song, where previous rocket tests have taken place.

"China is willing to maintain communication and coordination with relevant parties including the United States to ease tensions on the peninsula", State Councillor Yang Jiechi said, according to the ministry.

Engine tests have been a particular concern for observers of North Korea, as the engine previously employed in missiles, the Musudan, had a awful track record and several recorded failures.

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The US has 28,500 troops stationed in South Korea and has helped the nation set up a controversial Terminal High-Altitude Area Defence system, created to shoot down a North Korean ballistic missile.

In addition to the missile and nuclear programs, tensions with North Korea have spiked after the death of Otto Wambier, a 22-year-old OH native who was held in North Korea for 17 months and died after coming home unable to speak, see or react to verbal commands.

US President Donald Trump has made halting the North Korean nuclear threat his number one foreign policy priority.

"We've said many times that China is making unremitting efforts to resolve the Korean peninsula nuclear issue, and plays an active and constructive role", he said.

"It's true that some officials expressed concerns that the president attending the event might end up provoking North Korea", Park said.

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North Korea conducts rocket engine test