North Korea tests rocket engine, possibly for ballistic missile, say US officials

Cheryl Sanders
June 23, 2017

North Korea has reportedly conducted another rocket engine test to enhance its long-range missile capabilities.

One of the main North Korean demands is the termination of US-South Korean military drills.

Dennis Rodman, NBA legend and pop culture enigma, has come under a lot of fire as of late due to both praising and defending North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.

North Korea's regime has claimed that its new rocket could deliver a "large heavy nuclear warhead" all the way to the United States mainland.

The Trump government is trying to pressure China to use its influence on the North to deter the reclusive regime from conducting any more nuclear and missile tests.

Pyongyang's undeterred nuclear pursuit has brought it under heavy sanctions imposed by the United Nations as well as other countries, including the US and South Korea.

The engine test at that time was carried out at the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground in Tongchang-ri, northwestern North Korea, according to its official media. "If South Korea is not willing to use force, that creates an interesting dilemma for the USA if we want to use force".

A 2008 Congressional Research Service report figured North Korea's illicit activities could bring in anywhere from $500 million to $1 billion in profits annually.

But if you remove China, Pyongyang's biggest trading partner, from the equation, the breakdown reveals North Korea spent more on luxury goods than it did on licit imports from the rest of the world combined, according to United Nations data processed by the MIT Media Lab's Observatory of Economic Complexity.

Separately, at the Punggye-Ri underground nuclear test site, activity earlier this week has been followed by little change.

On June 2, the UN Security Council unanimously approved a draft resolution to expand sanctions on the Communist state.

Even so, the Trump administration is continuing to reach out to China for help on the North Korean issue.

In February 2012, North Korea agreed to to a temporary moratorium on missile and nuclear tests and a freeze of its uranium-enrichment facilities in exchange for 240,000 metric tons of food aid from the US.

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.

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