North Korea rocket test ups ante with belligerent Trump disposal | Simon Tisdall

Washingtons own provoking stance may play into Pyongyangs hands and reduce Chinas willingness to cooperate

North Koreas latest provocation, a weekend rocket engine experiment coinciding with high-level US-China talks in Beijing, has underlined just how dangerous and unpredictable the increasing armed confrontation on the Korean peninsula is becoming.

The Trump administration, far from soothing affairs, appears set on raising the stakes in a power rivalry nobody can win. The reportedly successful research of the high-thrust engine at the Tongchang-ri rocket launching station, announced on Sunday, was hailed by North Koreas maverick dictator, Kim Jong-un, as a breakthrough. The official KCNA news agency said the engine would be used to propel space satellites.

Experts say it could also power long-range nuclear missiles. Kim was also pointed out that the success induced in the present test commemorated a great incident, KCNA said. He emphasised that the whole world will soon witness the fateful relevance of todays great victory.

The test is another poke in the eye for the world community following a recent cord of illegal North Korean missile launches, conducted in defiance of UN embargoes, and two underground nuclear tests last year. Kim claims to be developing an intercontinental ballistic missile able to touched western US and Europe, and submarine-launched missiles.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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