(MENAFN - #Kuwait
News Agency (KUNA)) TOKYO, March 20 (KUNA) -- South Korea's Defense Ministry said Monday that North Korea's latest high-thrust rocket engine test was a "meaningful" advance in its weapons of mass destruction (WMD) development program, Yonhap News Agency reported.
The assessment came a day after Pyongyang's state media announced the successful testing of the new device at a missile site near the border with China, a move viewed as part of its preparations for another long-range rocket launch.
"It's assessed that there was meaningful progress in engine efficiency with the test," the ministrsaid.
The ministry added that North's newly unveiled equipment seems to have one main engine with four back-up ones connected.
The ministry, however, was guarded about more details, citing the need for further analysis.
North's leader Kim Jong-un inspected the test Saturday, the official Korean Central News Agency reported, adding that Kim said the success made in the current test marked a great event of historic significance as it declared a new birth of the rocket industry based on the self-reliance. (end) mk.mb