News ID: 168985
Published: 0713 GMT September 20, 2016

North Korea's Kim calls for satellite launch

North Korea's Kim calls for satellite launch

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un supervised a ground test of a new rocket engine to launch satellites, the North's state media reported on Tuesday, the latest in a rapid succession of missile-related tests this year.

Kim asked scientists and engineers to make "preparations for launching the satellite as soon as possible on the basis of the successful test," the official KCNA news agency said, indicating the North may soon launch another long-range rocket, Reuters reported.

The North's Rodong Sinmun newspaper carried photographs of Kim on a podium overlooking the vertical test stand that housed a rocket engine which blasted a column of flame.

North Korea said after its nuclear test this month that it had mastered the ability to mount a warhead on a ballistic missile.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang was asked at a regular briefing on Tuesday whether China considered the test part of a peaceful space program or a violation of sanctions.

"Regarding North Korea's ballistic missile launch activities, at present the Security Council has explicit stipulations. So we hope all parties can honor the relevant UN resolutions," Lu said.

North Korea earlier this month fired three missiles that flew about 1,000 km (600 miles) each and in August tested a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) that international experts said showed considerable progress.

It also launched an intermediate-range missile in June that experts said marked a technological advance after several test failures.

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