North Korea Claims to Have Conducted ‘Another Crucial Test’ at Long-Range Rocket Launch Site

In this Friday, Dec. 13, 2019, photo, an image showing North Korea’s missile launch is displayed at the Unification Observation Post in Paju, South Korea, near the border with North Korea. North Korea on Saturday, Dec. 14, says it successfully performed another “crucial test” as its long-range rocket launch site that would further strengthen its “reliable strategic nuclear deterrent.”
(Ahn Young-joon, AP)

North Korea, which has threatened to deliver a “Christmas gift” to Washington if stalled nuclear talks aren’t revived by year’s end, said Saturday it had conducted “another crucial test” at its its long-range rocket launch site.

An unnamed spokesman for North Korea’s Academy of Defense Science said the successful outcome of the latest tests “will be applied to further bolster up the reliable strategic nuclear deterrent of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.”

The test possibly involved technologies to improve intercontinental ballistic missiles that could potentially reach the continental United States.

North Korea did not elaborate on Friday night’s seven-minute test at the Sohae Satellite Launch Site. It came six days after North Korea conducted what it called a “very important test” at the same location.

South Korea has confirmed that the North tested a rocket engine last week, according to Yonhap, the South Korean news agency.

North Korea’s latest military moves follow stalled nuclear talks between the United States and North Korea and the collapse of the Hanoi summit between Kim and President Donald Trump in February.

The last two working-level talks between the two countries in Stockholm ended in October with little progress. North Korea has demanded that Washington drop its “hostile policy” toward Pyongyang before it will resume denuclearization talks.

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SOURCE: USA Today, Doug Stanglin