(LEAD) N. Korea conducts 'important' test of new strategic weapon: state media
(ATTN: RECASTS headline; UPDATES with more info throughout; ADDS photos, byline)
By Yi Wonju
SEOUL, Dec. 16 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has successfully conducted a test to verify the "high-thrust solid-fuel motor" features in developing another "new-type strategic weapon system," according to its state media Friday.
"An important institute under the Academy of Defence Science succeeded in the static firing test of high-thrust solid-fuel motor with a thrust of 140tf (ton-force), the first of its kind in the country, at the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground on the morning of Dec. 15," the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said in an English-language report.
The KCNA said the "important test" has provided a "sure sci-tech guarantee" for the development of another new-type strategic weapon system.
Observers said the North could have tested the high-thrust engine to advance the technologies for developing a new solid-fueled intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un guided the test, expressing the expectation that "another new-type strategic weapon would be made in the shortest span of time," the KCNA said.
"The test results scientifically and clearly showed that all the technical indices, including the motor's thrust, specific impulse, combustion feature, duration and thrust vector controlling feature, are equal to the design values, and proved its reliability and stability," it added.
Kim also highly praised officials at the Academy of Defence Science for having "successfully solved another important problem" in achieving the top priority tasks under a five-year plan set forth at the Workers' Party congress in January last year.
During the party congress, the North laid out plans to advance its weapons, including developing tactical nuclear weapons, hypersonic gliding flight warheads, nuclear-powered submarines and reconnaissance satellites, among others.
Pyongyang has conducted an unprecedented number of ballistic missile launches this year amid growing concerns it could carry out a nuclear test.
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