North Korea says it successfully tested new rocket engine

The news agency added that Kim Jong Un studied the engine's technical specifications ahead of the test and then guided the test.

Kim Jong Un noted that the success made in the current test marked a great event of historic significance and emphasized that the whole world will soon realize the weighty significance of the great success in the test.

It staged its two latest nuclear tests past year and recently fired off missiles that it described as practice for an attack on U.S. bases in Japan. It was developed without "dependence on the technology of other countries", KCNA said.

In Seoul, Mr Tillerson laid out details of the new U.S. plan, saying it would focus on getting China to better enforce United Nations sanctions against North Korea.

The KCNA said he was accompanied by Ri Pyong-chol, Kim Jong-sik and other leading officials of the North's ruling Workers' Party of Korea, and scientists and technicians in the field of rocket research. According to the reports, the new engine will improve the thrust power of the rocket and the reliability of its control systems.

They said judging by the flame and duration of the burn, the latest engine could carry a rocket or missile over 5,500 kilometers.

Even with Tillerson now in Beijing and scheduled to meet with President Xi Jinping on Sunday, Trump on Friday tweeted: "North Korea is behaving very badly".

A new type of rocket engine was used in the test for long-range missiles.

The half-brother of North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Un was poisoned with the lethal nerve agent VX in a brazen Cold War-style assassination on February 13 in Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

North Korea has stepped up its efforts to develop a nuclear-tipped missile that could reach the US mainland, although experts are divided on how close it is to reaching its stated goal. "We will follow the legal channel to get them".

"The most important principle we have identified is that no matter what happens we have to stay committed to diplomatic means as a way to seek a peaceful settlement", Mr Wang said on Saturday.

Juche refers to North Korea's homegrown ideology of self-reliance.

Its smaller size could mean that the rocket was built for a smaller missile - or for the second stage of a bigger missile, like an ICBM, she said.

  • Rogelio Becker