North Korea carried out an 'important final-stage test' for the development of a spy satellite
The 6 Tips That Could Save Your Life If A Nuclear Bomb Went Off Photo by: KCNA via KNS via AFP/STR

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un presided over the successful test of a "high-thrust solid-propellant" engine that will aid its nuclear arsenal. State media said on Friday that the engine will be used to propel a brand-new weapon. Photos taken from Sohae Satellite Launching Station in western North Korea by the Korean Central News Agency showed Kim holding a cigarette, smiling as white smoke emerged from a horizontal test engine stand.

VOA news reported that the test was crucial in providing a firm scientific and technological guarantee for the development of a new type of strategic weapon system. The report continued, saying Kim expects the new strategic weapon system to be up and running in a short period of time. Analysts speculated that the test may be related to the development of a solid-fueled intercontinental ballistic missile, although North Korea already possesses liquid-filled ICBMs that are capable of hitting U.S. soil.

Back in January 2021, Kim announced the development of solid-fueled ICBMs, which are said to be much more convenient to transport and require less time to launch. The missile is among many others on North Korea’s wishlist of strategic weapons, which included hypersonic missiles as well as an ICBM that can carry multiple warheads. Many of the items on that list have already been developed however the solid-fueled missile has yet to be added to their arsenal.

Just recently Sohae Satellite Launching Station saw another test launch, this time for the development of a military reconnaissance satellite, which the country aims to complete by April 2023. North Korea’s National Aerospace Development Administration conducted the test on Sunday. The state media said a rocket was launched at a “lofted angle” to an altitude of 500km and carried what was described as a “test-piece satellite”, with multiple cameras, image transmitters and receivers, a control device, and a storage battery.

The test was conducted to review satellite imaging capabilities, data transmission, as well as a ground control system. The news dispatch elaborated on important technical indicators such as camera operating technology in the space environment, data processing and transmission ability of the communication devices, and tracking and control accuracy of the ground control system.

A man watches a TV broadcasting a news report on North Korea firing a ballistic missile off its east coast
A man watches a TV broadcasting a news report on North Korea firing a ballistic missile off its east coast, in Seoul. Photo by: Reuters/Heo Ran

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