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20 March 2017, 01:10 | Todd Saunders
Open thread for night owls: Do Tillerson's remarks about North Korea really reflect a policy shift?
North Korea's ground test followed multiple rocket launches in recent months in what has been termed a provocation of the United States.
The North conducted two nuclear tests a year ago alone and didn't respect multiple resolutions or sanctions, as it continued to carry out provocations, including the launch of four ballistic missiles on March 6.
Kim was photographed and filmed with a huge beaming smile as his generals applauded the successful trial of a long-range missile engine at the Sohae launch site yesterday.
The test of a new high-thrust rocket engine was hailed as a "great leap forward" by North Korea, state media reported Sunday.
Lee said the test featured a main engine supported by four supplementary engines.
South Korea's military declined to comment.
Trump, who traveled to his Mar-a-Lago resort this weekend, said he discussed North Korea's missile launches during weekend meetings.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who ordered the start of the test, oversaw it from an observation post, the KCNA reported.
"Our army and people will continuously bolster up our nuclear deterrent for self defense down the road under the conditions that high-level USA government officials adamantly stick to their hostile policy toward us", the Rodong Sinmun, a daily of the ruling Workers' Party, said in a commentary titled "The Root of Intensification of Tension on the Korean Peninsula".
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"This was a comprehensive test for the first-stage rocket for an ICBM, and that is why it was risky", said Kim Dong-yub, an analyst at Seoul's Institute for Far Eastern Studies.
His tone was more moderate when he spoke alongside Wang on Saturday, saying the countries had agreed to work together to confront North Korea.
Experts believe North Korea's missile technology has now reached the same level as the Soviet Union just before its implosion, or will soon reach that stage.
North Korean leader Kim said in January his country was close to test-launching an ICBM.
While that's largely in line with prior US positions, Tillerson's recent comments - and Twitter posts from President Donald Trump - suggest the level of anxiety over North Korea is rising.
Tillerson called Japan America's "most important ally" but South Korea merely as "an important partner". "We are exploring a new range of diplomatic, security, economic measures".
"Any chance for dialogue must be seized, as long as there's hope", Wang said at a development forum in Beijing.
A growing threat from the North has prompted Seoul and Washington to begin installing a powerful U.S. missile defence system in the South - angering Beijing, which views it as a threat to China's own missile capabilities. Russian Federation also opposes the system, for the same reasons.
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