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Seoul says N. Korea’s recent test was ‘of rocket engine’

Seoul says N. Korea’s recent test was ‘of rocket engine’

South Korea’s defense minister said on Tuesday that Pyongyang’s recent unspecified test at a launch site was of a rocket engine, amid speculation that the North was making preliminary steps toward a prohibited long-range rocket launch, AP reported.

Jeong Kyeong-doo said during a visit to Sydney that Seoul expressed its “deep concerns” over the engine test and North Korea’s recent ballistic missile launches into the sea, according to his office in Seoul.

It was the first official outside assessment of what North Korea called “a very important test” at its Tongchang-ri rocket launch site. The North’s Academy of National Defense Science said on Sunday that the test will have “an important effect on changing the strategic position” of North Korea.

Jeong didn’t elaborate on what the engine test was for, but urged North Korea to stop “acts that escalate military tensions.”