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US Warned NK`s Missile Engine Test

Posted July. 04, 2001 10:38,   


Expressing its worries regarding North Korea`s engine test of the long-range missile, the U.S. warned that if NK conducts the flight test of the missile, it will be a serious problem.

State Department spokesman Richard Boucher told in the briefing that ``according to the report, NK conducted a ground test of missile engine, not a flight test. A flight test, of course, would be prohibited by the moratorium. It would be a very serious matter and contrary to the understandings between the two sides.``

``However, on North Korea`s missile activity in general, ... we think those activities continue to pose a threat to regional security, stability, and the friends of the U.S. friends,`` he added. ``We expect North Korea to abide by its moratorium on the launch of long-range missiles.``

The Washington Times reported yesterday that North Korea conducted an engine test of its long-range missile last week and the effects of the engine test, a large burn area, were photographed by U.S. military reconnaissance aircraft.

The Washington Times evaluated quoting the U.S. intelligence officials saying that ``the ground test was the first major development in the long-range-missile program since North Koreans conducted the surprise first flight test of the Taepodong-1 in August 1998``.

The Associated Press (AP) also reported that North Korea actually conducted the engine test of the missile, and this shows that North Korea has continued the activities to develop the missiles.

A governmental official said that ``it is hard to confirm the report on North Korea`s engine test of the missile. The engine combustion test which is a step to develop the missile`s nucleus has been conducted a few times, and this test can hardly be seen as the annihilation of NK`s announcement of moratorium``.

Han Ki-Heung eligius@donga.com