International

North Korea conducts 'crucial test' from rocket launch site

North Korea announced Saturday that it has conducted "another crucial test" from its satellite launch site, with Pyongyang saying it will use the results to bolster efforts for a strategic nuclear deterrence.

The official Korean Central News Agency said the test took place shortly before 11 p.m. local time Friday at the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground on the country's west coast, Yonhap News Agency reported.

North Korea did not say what exactly had been tested.

The announcement comes a week after Pyongyang said that it carried out a "very important test" at the satellite launch facility, saying the test was of "great significance" for the country. That launch is believed to have been a test of a rocket engine.

President Trump had said at a NATO leaders summit in London earlier this month that the U.S. would use force against North Korea if needed while referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as "Rocket Man," remarks that prompted the isolated nation to lash out at the president and revive its own attack against him, calling him a "dotard."

Trump's remarks came in response to reporters asking about North Korea's recent series of missile tests, with the president emphasizing that the U.S. has the world's most powerful military and would use it "if we have to" against North Korea.

North Korea has pushed the Trump administration to lift pressure on the country as Washington presses Pyongyang to denuclearize. North Korea has given the U.S. an end-of-year deadline to change its approach to nuclear negotiations.

The test announced Saturday came a day before U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun was set to arrive in South Korea for talks on nuclear diplomacy. He was expected to be joined by two other State Department and White House officials focused on North Korea and Asian affairs.

The Associated Press noted that it was unclear if Biegun may try to contact officials from North Korea during the visit but noted that the inter-Korean border has regularly been used for diplomatic reasons.

North Korea has conducted more than a dozen missile tests this year and has warned that it could pursue a "new path" if the U.S. refuses to lift sanctions.

Outbrain