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North Korean leader attends new rocket engine test — media

March 19, 7:52 UTC+3

After the test, the North Korean leader said its results "became a great historic event, the birth of a national rocket industry"

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©  AP Photo/Lee Jin-man

MOSCOW, March 19. /TASS/. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un observed the ground jet test of a new high-thrust rocket engine, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported Sunday.

According to the report, Kim checked the technical specifications of the engine and preparations for the test and gave instructions before going up to the observation post to give the order for the test to begin.

After the test, the North Korean leader said its results "became a great historic event, the birth of a national rocket industry, that will not depend on technologies developed in this field by other states," North Korea’s state KCNA news agency reported.

"The world will soon fully realize the importance of North Korea’s test of this powerful engine," Kim was quoted as saying.

North Korea’s leader also praised "the unprecedented progress made by the country’s defense industry" made last year and in early 2017.

The test, that took place at the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground, coincided with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s Asian tour that includes Japan, South Korea and China. North Korea’s nuclear and rocket threat will be one of the main issues to be discussed during the visit.

During his visit to Seoul, Tillerson admitted that Washington’s "strategic patience" policy toward Pyongyang was over. "We are exploring a new range of security and diplomatic measures. All options are on the table," he added.

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