By Chris Thompson
A report from KCNA news agency has it that North Korea has successfully tested the newly developed solid-fuel engines for the country’s intermediate-range ballistic missiles (IRBMs).
According to the report on Wednesday, North Korea’s missile industry “has developed new-type high-thrust solid-fuel engines for intermediate-range ballistic missiles,” describing the development as being of “important strategic significance.”
The news agency added that initial ground tests of the first- and second-stage engines had been conducted on November 11 and 14 respectively. The trials reportedly confirmed the new equipment’s reliability, paving the way for the development of a “new-type IRBM system.”
According to KCNA, the North Korean leadership has this year tasked the country’s missile industry with improving existing IRBMs as well as the longer-range Hwasong-18 intercontinental ballistic missile.
The recent solid-fuel engine tests represented an important step in “enhancing the strategic offensive capabilities of the DPRK’s armed forces in the light of the grave and unstable security environment facing the country,” the news agency added.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, KCNA quoted a military spokesperson as announcing that Pyongyang would develop “more offensive and overwhelming response capabilities” and pursue “visible strategic deterrent military actions.”
The warning came shortly after the US and South Korea unveiled their own “deterrence strategy” aimed at the DPRK.