N. Korea tested rocket engine: Think-tank



AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE

Published — Friday 12 July 2013

Last update 12 July 2013 2:42 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

SEOUL: North Korea tested a rocket engine earlier this year in a potential bid to further develop its missile capability, a US think-tank said yesterday after reviewing new satellite images.
Images of the Tongchang-ri rocket base in the country’s northwest indicated the North conducted at least “one or more rocket engine tests” in late March or early April, the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University said.
The site, also known as Sohae Satellite launch station, was the base for the communist state’s successful rocket launch last December, after a failed attempt in April of the same year.
Pyongyang claims both were peaceful science projects aimed at putting its Unha satellite into orbit. The international community, which widely condemned the December launch, views them as disguised long-range ballistic missile tests banned under United Nations resolutions.
Nick Hansen, an expert on imagery analysis, said engine tests were “a key part” of efforts to develop long-range missiles.
He said the latest images showed activities including movements of fuel tanks around a launch pad and a seven-car train potentially carrying the engine, other equipment and technicians to the test site.
They also showed a new distinctive orange-coloured stain in the flame trench, designed to protect a rocket from exhaust gases, on the launch pad that is similar to those shown in previous rocket launches, he said.
“Rocket engine tests, while less visible, are also important in technology development,” wrote Hansen on the institute’s blog, 38 North.
“The recent engine test indicates that Pyongyang continues to move forward with its... long-range missile programmes despite continuing United Nations sanctions and China’s public expression of displeasure with the North’s efforts to further develop nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them,” he wrote.
December’s rocket launch prompted further tightening of UN sanctions on the impoverished but nuclear-armed state.
Pyongyang responded by staging its third nuclear test in February, a move that even irritated its sole major ally, China. The isolated North’s economic prop made the rare move of joining other UN Security Council members in slapping more sanctions on the regime in March.
Angered by new sanctions and what it called Seoul’s hostile policy, the North mounted a series of apocalyptic threats, including of nuclear attacks on Seoul and Washington, sharply raising tension on the peninsula.
In April, Pyongyang withdrew its workers from a joint industrial complex, citing military tensions.
The crisis subsided after Pyongyang changed tack and made a series of reconciliatory gestures towards Seoul and Washington in recent months, though initial talks held over the weekend to discuss reopening the industrial complex were fruitless.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

SYDNEY: Amnesty International has demanded that Mustafa Al-Hosawi, a Saudi prisoner at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, be treated for the torture he underwent at the hands of the CIA.The US branch of the organization sent a message to health officials at the...
JEDDAH: The city’s airport staff saved a 20-year-old woman who tried to throw herself from the upper floor to the mezzanine floor in the southern hall. Sources said the suicide attempt was due to family disputes. Administrators said a supervisor in t...
RIYADH: Education Minister Ahmad Al-Issa has ordered to gradually close down private night schools beginning from the current year. The closure of these schools will be complete by 1439H.Al-Issa’s decision is based on reports of a body, which highlig...
RIYADH: Riyadh and Phnom Penh have signed a labor deal to recruit domestics and general workers from Cambodia.Labor Minister Mufrej Al-Haqabani and his Cambodian counterpart Ait Samana signed the agreement.Al-Haqabani said the Kingdom is keen on open...
Jeddah: The Criminal Court in Jeddah has sentenced a man to nine months in jail for beating his wife and insulting her by calling her “stubborn and ignorant.” The man has also been required to make a written pledge not to go near his wife, while the...
MUNICH: Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister defended his country’s treatment of women on Friday, saying it had made progress on female education but would take time to let them drive cars.“When it comes to issues like women’s driving, this is not a relig...
RIYADH: A cross-section of Saudi society on Friday denounced the Jazan massacre that shook the nation on Thursday, when a gunman went on the rampage killing seven education officials and injuring several others in Al-Dair governorate.The culprit, ide...
JEDDAH: Maj. Gen. Awad Al-Balawi, head of the Saudi Border Guard, recently confirmed the expansion of the employment program for women within the border security sector. He said that the sector is entering a new phase as women will be employed in a n...
RIYADH: A medical team of the King Abdullah Specialist Children’s Hospital (KASCH) at the King Abdulaziz Medical City (National Guard) here have successfully conducted the first liver transplant on a baby boy. Fahad Mari Said Al-Sairdh, father of the...
JEDDAH: The Makkah Investigation and Prosecution Board reintroduced the crane crash incident to the Riyadh Investigation and Prosecution Board recently, adding 10 more employees and supervisors from different government agencies before the courts. Th...
JEDDAH: The teacher who gunned down seven education officials in Al-Dair governorate on Thursday had been showing behavioral problems in recent days, Al-Janob Misfer Al-Subhan, director of King Faisal Secondary School in Dharan, was quoted as saying...
JEDDAH: The Human Rights Commission (HRC) is investigating the Nakheel Mall case, in which a girl was beaten up by a group of Haia members, an official of the commission has said. “The HRC is supposed to guarantee the rights of those harmed, whoever...
AL-AHSA: King Faisal University (KFU) in Al-Ahsa is currently studying the possibility of admitting female students to specialize in veterinary medicine, the director of the university, Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saati, confirmed. He said the matter has been p...
JEDDAH: A fingerprinting campaign, titled “Imprint Homeland,” against extremism and terrorism, was launched at the Jeddah corniche on Thursday night. The drive will cover all the 17 regions of Makkah province.The campaign, initiated by the Makkah gov...
RIYADH: The number of unemployed Saudi nationals reached 647,000 by the end of last year, of whom 56 percent, or 363,800, hold bachelor’s degrees or licenses. Female bachelor’s degree and license holders accounted for three-fourths of unemployed Saud...

Stay Connected

Facebook