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North Korea tests liquid propellant rocket engine: research group

It also boosts resources for satellite launching station.

North Korea tested a liquid propellant rocket engine last month and bolstered construction resources and funding for its satellite launching station as it aims for more launches in defiance of U.N. sanctions, U.S.-based researchers said. 

Citing satellite images, the research project Beyond Parallel, said on Monday that the test was conducted at the Yunsong vertical engine test facility within the Sohae Satellite Launching Station during the fourth week of April 2024.

“This test is a clear indication that North Korea is continuing to pursue the development of liquid propellant rocket engine technology for both its ballistic missile and SLV [space launch vehicles] programs,” said the project, which is affiliated with the U.S. think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

“It is unknown if [North Korean leader] Kim Jong-un was present for this test,” it said.

Beyond Parallel said an exceptional amount of construction resources and finances had been allocated to the Sohae Satellite Launching Station, underscoring North Korea’s “stated intention to field a diverse rocket and missile complex capable of supporting the development and launch of larger and more sophisticated SLV, satellites, and long-range ballistic missiles.”

North Korea conducted its first successful launch of a three-stage Chollima-1 SLV on Nov. 21 last year, at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station, placing a Malligyong-1 “military reconnaissance satellite” into low Earth orbit.

“Work is now concentrated on constructing a large new processing/assembly building and an associated underground facility. Several smaller construction projects are also being pursued,” the research project said.

It said that any future launches of reconnaissance satellites or ballistic missiles from the Sohae Satellite Launching Station would “inevitably use a combination of domestically developed and covertly acquired ballistic missile technology,” which is banned by the United Nations. 

North Korea had announced that it planned to launch three more reconnaissance satellites this year. 

“If successful, a second reconnaissance satellite would provide an immensely improved capability to monitor locations within East Asia and the world,” the think tank said.

Edited by Mike Firn. 


This content originally appeared on Radio Free Asia and was authored by By Taejun Kang for RFA.


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By Taejun Kang for RFA | Radio Free (2024-05-07T03:58:00+00:00) North Korea tests liquid propellant rocket engine: research group. Retrieved from https://www.rfa.org/english/news/korea/nkorea-engine-test-05062024235451.html

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