North Korea said on Sunday December 8th, it had conducted a significant test at its long-range rocket launch centre, in a bid to intensify pressure on the United States as nuclear talks between the two powers are nearing deadlock, AFP has reported.
"A very important test took place at the Sohae satellite launching ground on the afternoon of December 7th, 2019," a spokesperson for North Korea's Academy of the National Defence Science said in a statement broadcast by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
The result of Saturday’s test will have an "important effect" on changing the "strategic position once again in the near future" of North Korea, the source said, without providing further details about the test.
The announcement came shortly after President Trump said he would be "surprised" by any hostile action from the North.
On Saturday, President Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in discussed developments related to North Korea and the two leaders committed to continue close communication, the White House said in a statement reported by AP.
Pyongyang’s test comes in the light of stalled negotiations with Washington as the North warned it would seek “a new way” if it fails to get major US concessions by the end of the year, saying that its resumption of nuclear and long-range missile tests depends on the actions of the US.
North Korea did not clarify the type of its latest test but said its satellite launches are part of its peaceful space development programme. However, experts conjectured that the North had tested a solid-fuel engine for an intercontinental ballistic missile for the first time.