S. Korea keeps close tabs on NK missile development

The U.S. government source believes the rocket engine could propel an ICBM over 55-hundred kilometers and that the objective of the engine is to target the U.S. The source added that the recent engine tested could be seen as the smallest stage of a three-stage ICBM engine - in other words, the final piece of the puzzle.

USA officials have said North Korea has test-fired another rocket.

The engine could "potentially be used on a future intercontinental ballistic missile or ICBM", according to the report.

American officials said that the test was probably conducted in the past 24 hours and could represent one more step in the regime's efforts to create an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting the United States.

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency said this week another test of its shoot-down capability failed on Wednesday night.

The disclosure of the engine test came a day after the USA pressed China to exert more economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea to help rein in its nuclear and missile programmes, during a round of high-level talks in Washington.

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The disclosure of the North's engine test came a day after the United States pressed China to exert more economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea to help rein in its nuclear and missile programs during a round of high-level talks in Washington.

May 31, the USA military held exercises to repel attacks of Intercontinental ballistic missiles.

China's top diplomat met Trump at the White House on Thursday, where he said Beijing was willing to keep working with Washington to defuse tensions on the Korean peninsula, China's foreign ministry said.

The United States, meanwhile, is ramping up capabilities to defend against the threat from North Korea, staging its first-ever successful test to intercept an incoming ICBM-type missile in May.

A midrange ballistic missile was launched from a test site in Hawaii, but an interceptor missile launched from USS John Paul Jones missed the target, the agency said.

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