North Korea tested rocket engine to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile

TOPSHOT - This undated picture released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) via KNS on March 7, 2017 shows the launch of four ballistic missiles by the Korean People's Army (KPA) during a military drill at an undisclosed location in North Korea. Nuclear-armed North Korea launched four ballistic missiles on March 6 in another challenge to President Donald Trump, with three landing provocatively close to America's ally Japan. / AFP PHOTO / KCNA VIA KNS / STR / South Korea OUT / REPUBLIC OF KOREA OUT ---EDITORS NOTE--- RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO/KCNA VIA KNS" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS THIS PICTURE WAS MADE AVAILABLE BY A THIRD PARTY. AFP CAN NOT INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, LOCATION, DATE AND CONTENT OF THIS IMAGE. THIS PHOTO IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY AFP. / (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Vastavam web: North Korea has carried out another test of a rocket engine that the United States believes could be part of its programme to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile, a U.S. official told Reuters on Thursday.The United States assessed that the test, the latest in a series of engine and missile tests this year, could be for the smallest stage of an ICBM rocket engine, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.The disclosure of the engine test came a day after the United States pressed China to exert more economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea to help rein in its nuclear and missile programs during a round of high-level talks in Washington.

U.S. President Donald Trump has warned that a “major, major conflict” with North Korea is possible over its weapons programs, although U.S. officials say tougher sanctions, not military force, are the preferred option.The continental United States is around 5,600 miles (9,000 km (5,600 miles) from North Korea. ICBMs have a minimum range of about 3,400 miles (5,500 km), but some are designed to travel 6,200 miles (10,000 km) or farther.The United States, meanwhile, is ramping up capabilities to defend against the threat from North Korea, staging its first-ever successful test to intercept an incoming ICBM-type missile in May.It was the second such test of the SM-3 Block IIA interceptor, which is being developed by Raytheon (RTN.N). The previous intercept test, conducted in February, had been successful.