North Korea conducts rocket engine test

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North Korea's top envoy to India on Wednesday offered a conditional moratorium on his country's nuclear and missile tests in an apparent bid to hold talks with the United States.

In media interview, Moon apparently seeking to stress importance of environmental impact assessment ahead of US summit President Moon Jae-in said in a June 22 interview with Reuters that the initial South Korea-US agreement on the THAAD deployment had only one of six launchers in the battery to be deployed this year, with the remaining five to be deployed in 2018.

One official said he believed the test had taken place within the past 24 hours.

While Trump had once spoken about possibly engaging North Korea and its leader Kim Jong Un directly, he appears to have stepped back from that approach in recent weeks.

Citing unnamed USA officials, Reuters reports that Pyongyang may have been testing the last stage engine of an ICBM.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said China opposed any action that violated UN Security Council resolutions and called for restraint from all parties.

"North Korea has blatantly violated worldwide law with their nuclear testing, illicit sales, and the ramping up of their nuclear programme", said Republican Representative Doug Lamborn, a member of the House Armed Services Committee and a leading advocate for missile defence in Washington. It first agreed to missile guidelines with the United States in 1979 in return for technological aid in developing its first ballistic missiles.

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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.

North Korean missile tests present a hard challenge for Moon.

Adams also said the U.S. leaves open the possibility of holding talks to achieve the goal of a denuclearized Korean Peninsula and the North has a responsibility to take honest and meaningful actions toward denuclearization and refrain from making additional provocations.

Despite worldwide sanctions so tough they prompted Kim to warn his citizens to prepare for possible starvation and severe economic hardship, it wasn't the "dear leader" or North Korean officials you saw tightening their belts.

However, North Korea slammed the latest United Nations sanctions as "mean" and vowed to press ahead with its missile and nuclear weapons programs.

"A policy of embracing North Korea is possible when we have a defence capability that surpasses that of North Korea".

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