North Korea carries out ‘very important test’

North Korea’s state news agency KCNA said on Sunday that “a very important test” had been carried out at its the Sohae Launch Facility.

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“The results of the recent important test will have an important effect on changing the strategic position of the once again in the near future,” KCNA reported.
 
Pyongyang has not revealed any additional details about the nature of the test.
 
The Sohae Launch Facility, located near the country’s northwestern border with China, was supposed to have been decommissioned in 2018, but reports emerged earlier this year indicating it had been rebuilt.
 
The new development comes as a year-end deadline North Korea had imposed is fast approaching. Pyongyang has warned that it could take a “new path” if no progress is made in denuclearization talks with the US before the deadline.
 
According to recent media reports, a new satellite image indicated that North Korea could be readying to resume testing engines used to power satellite launchers at the Sohae Launch Facility.
 
Missile experts have said it appeared likely Pyongyang conducted a static test of a rocket engine, instead of a missile launch.
 
“If it is indeed a static engine test for a new solid or liquid fuel missile, it is yet another loud signal that the door for diplomacy is quickly slamming, if it isn’t already,” Vipin Narang, a nuclear affairs expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US, told Reuters.
 
“This could be a very credible signal of what might await the world after the New Year,” he added.
 
Negotiations between the US and North Korea on denuclearization have so far been stalled since the second summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader in Vietnam in February.
 
Disputes over how much sanctions relief the North must get in return for disarmament steps have marred the talks.
 
On Saturday, prior to the test, North Korea’s ambassador to the UN said denuclearization was now off the negotiating table with the US, adding that talks with Washington were no longer needed.
 
In recent months, Pyongyang has performed several short-range missile and other weapons launches and even hinted at lifting its moratorium on bigger weapons tests, such as nuclear and long-range missiles.