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North Korea says it conducted ‘very important test,’ state media reports

Pyongyang has carried out "a very important test" at its the Sohae Launch Facility, North Korean state news agency KCNA reported on Sunday.

Seoul, 8 December 2019 (dpa/MIA) – Pyongyang has carried out “a very important test” at its the Sohae Launch Facility, North Korean state news agency KCNA reported on Sunday.

The report said that the country’s Academy of the National Defence Science reported the success of the test, carried out on Saturday afternoon, to the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea.

KCNA said that the test would have “an important effect on changing the strategic position of [North Korea],” but did not give further details.

Located near the country’s north-western border with China, the Sohae facility was decommissioned in 2018.

Earlier this year, reports saying that the site was being rebuilt started emerging, with NBC news saying the work occurred just around the time US President Donald Trump was meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi in February.

South Korean news agency Yonhap reported that Pyongyang’s most recent claim could mean the North had successfully tested a new rocket engine that could be used in the launch of a new long-range rocket or an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Progress on North Korean denuclearization stalled after the February summit, which ultimately failed to resolve any issues.

The North Korean leadership has made clear it has no interest in new disarmament talks with the US as long as Washington refuses to lift sanctions. It set a deadline for the US for the end of the year.

The two sides were unable to agree on the next steps toward the easing of tensions, and North Korea has since fired a number of short-range missiles into the sea.

Rhetoric between the leaders of the United States and North Korea has been ratcheting up once again.

North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui on Thursday night criticized comments from Trump, who recently spoke of possibly using military force against Pyongyang and again referred to Kim as “rocket man.”

She warned of a return to the war of words that took place between Trump and Kim two years ago.

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