North Korea tests rocket engine

"Despite many years of urging North Korea to cease its unsafe and risky behaviour, it has continued to test ballistic missiles, it's continued its nuclearisation program, so we welcome any new, fresh ideas that the new administration has in dealing with North Korea".

The South's military would not confirm the report of the secretive neighbor's move.

North Korea is attempting to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the United States mainland.

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

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula intensified in early 2016 when North Korea conducted a nuclear test and after that launched a ballistic missile carrying a satellite. North Korea has called the drills an invasion rehearsal while Seoul and Washington argue the annual exercises are routine defensive preparations.

Rodman has traveled to North Korea on five different occasions.

"US first deployed nuclear weapons in South Korea in 1957 and then more than 1,000 weapons were deployed".

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News of the test came one day after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urged China, Pyongyang's sole ally, to put more pressure on the North to rein in its atomic weapons and ballistic missile programs.

Ongoing activity and a large number of people have been spotted at North Korea's nuclear test site, the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Facility, amid lingering concerns that the regime of leader Kim Jong-un could carry out its sixth nuclear test.

South Korea's unification ministry, which handles inter-Korean affairs, reiterated an assessment by military authorities here that the North is continuing activities aimed at advancing its missile capabilities.

Mattis said the two sides "affirmed North Korea's nuclear and missile programs as a threat to peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region".

Also, KCNA said "the Trump administration, obsessed by megalomania, is going arrogant to mount a preemptive nuclear strike at the DPRK".

Meanwhile, in an interview with CBS, South Korea's new President Moon Jae-in said his country had no plans to end or downsize joint military exercises with the US.

However, North Korea slammed the latest United Nations sanctions as "mean" and vowed to press ahead with its missile and nuclear weapons programs.

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