North Korea has successfully tested a new type of high-thrust solid-fuel engine for intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), according to state media.
The test was conducted on Tuesday, November 14, 2023, at the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground in Tonghae County, North Korea.
The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported that the test was a “success” and that the new engine “has significantly enhanced the reliability and performance of the country’s intercontinental ballistic missiles.” KCNA also said that the test was “a great victory” for North Korea’s scientists and technicians.
The test is a significant development for North Korea’s missile program. Solid-fuel engines are more stable and easier to transport and store than liquid-fuel engines, which are currently used in most North Korean ICBMs. This could allow North Korea to launch its ICBMs more quickly and with less notice.
The test comes amid a period of increased tension between North Korea and the United States. North Korea has been conducting a series of missile tests in recent months, including the launch of a new type of medium-range ballistic missile in September 2023.
The United States has responded to these tests by imposing new sanctions on North Korea and by conducting military exercises with its allies in the region.
The United States has condemned North Korea’s test of the new solid-fuel engine, calling it a “provocation” that threatens the security of the region.
The United States has also called on North Korea to stop testing its missiles and to return to negotiations on its nuclear program.
North Korea has not yet responded to these calls. However, in the past, North Korea has often used missile tests as a way to pressure the United States and other countries into making concessions. It is possible that North Korea will use the test of the new solid-fuel engine as a bargaining chip in future negotiations.