Although country officials say the rocket engine is designed to launch satellites into space, some experts believe that this is the first stage for an intercontinental ballistic missile.
Once again, North Korea has tested technologies that can help launch satellites or long-range missiles from the ground.
Last weekend, North Korean state media announced that the country had conducted a ground test of a powerful rocket engine, which “will help strengthen the scientific and technical base corresponding to the global satellite capabilities in the field of space exploration.”
But the rogue state with nuclear weapons also claimed that they were close to creating an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), and repeatedly threatened to destroy South Korea, Japan and the United States.
Therefore, some experts do not believe that the country has worked on the engine for peaceful purposes.
“It was a first-stage test for the ICBM, and this is where the main danger lies,” said rocket research expert Kim Dong-Yub from the Far East Institute in Seoul. “It looks like North Korea has developed most of the first stage for a launch vehicle.” However, this engine is very similar to the one that the country tested in September last year. This is evidenced by an aerospace engineer and specialist in rocket engines, John Schilling. It was rated as “more suitable for use in launch vehicles for satellites than ballistic missiles,” Schilling wrote March 20 at NorthNation.org.
He also added that the recently tested engine looks too big to fit into any prototype North Korean ICBM designs.
“Of the North Korean rocket projects that we now know, the second stage of the new space launch vehicle, Unha-9, is best suited,” Schilling wrote.
But he mentioned that North Korea can work on an ICBM project that the US and its allies do not know about.
“The North Korean regime never hesitated to show off its missiles,” Schilling wrote. “So they could demonstrate their space program. But what really happens is that we will only find out when they show us their new satellite installation. ”