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Korea to Join US-led Bombing Drill in Alaska

North Korea said Tuesday it ground-tested a new type of high-powered engine for long-range rockets, in another provocation as the USA and its allies vow to strengthen sanctions.

Kim visited the Sohae Space Center "to guide the ground jet test of a new type high-power engine of a carrier rocket for the geo-stationary satellite", KCNA said.

Rocket scientist Chae Yeon-Seok at the South's Korea Aerospace Research Institute said with the new engine, the North is "coming close to having an inter-continental ballistic missile [ICBM] that could hit the USA mainland".

Kim's stated goal for the coming years is to succeed with the launch of multiple geostationary satellites, but onlookers such as South Korea and the United States have always been concerned that the North is more interested in bolstering its inter-continental ballistic missile capabilities.

The test was successful, the report said, providing a "firm scientific and technological guarantee" for North Korea's plan to launch more satellites.

Earlier this month, North Korea conducted its fifth nuclear test, prompting South Korean and United States officials to vow to apply more sanctions and pressure on Kim's government.

Pyongyang's state media also said that the country had realized its goal of being able to fit a miniaturized warhead on a rocket, although this has not been independently confirmed and has been questioned.

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The study began with an initial database of 39 North Korea-linked ships.

Video: Can North Korea drop a nuke on America? The United Nations' most powerful body is discussing new measures in response to the test on September 9, which is seen as North Korea's most powerful detonation so far of a nuclear device.

Photographs of the front page of today's Rodong Sinmun newspaper show the supreme leader, Kim Jong Un, beaming as an engine fixed into a scaffold belches orange flames. In February, North Korea put a satellite into space with a long-range rocket and has since test-fired dozens of short- and midrange ballistic missiles.

The meeting between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and their South Korean counterpart, Yun Byung-se, was the first since the latest nuclear test.

There is a possibility that the USA will send B-52s and B-2s to Korea as well. The letters read "North Korea conducts rocket engine test".

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang didn't directly criticize North Korea over the latest engine test but called on "all parties" to honor United Nations resolutions on the use of ballistic-missile technology.

The underground nuclear test, conducted earlier this month, is thought to be the country's most powerful yet. But the United States and its allies consider it to be a cover for improving technology that could also aid Pyongyang's banned ballistic missile development.

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