August 24, 2017 10:49
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has paid a visit to the Chemical Material Institute of the Academy of Defense Science, which is in charge of developing the North's ballistic missiles.
The official [North] Korean Central News Agency on Wednesday said Kim "instructed the institute to produce more solid-fuel rocket engines and rocket warhead tips" by further expanding production process and capacity.
It quoted Kim as praising researchers for developing a reliable re-entry vehicle that allows a warhead to survive the intense heat and friction of re-entering the atmosphere.
The claims are seen as a rebuttal to South Korea and the U.S., which have said that the North still does not have that technology.
A photo of Kim's visit in the state-run Rodong Sinmun daily shows a display titled "Pukguksong-3" in the background. Last year, North Korea test-fired Pukguksong-1 and 2, which are submarine-launched ballistic missiles. That suggests a fresh launch is imminent.
Meanwhile, Jin Jong-hyop, the charge d'affaires of the North Korean Embassy in Russia, said in an interview with Russian media on Tuesday, "As you know, we have completed the preparation of the Guam strike. Everything will depend on whether the United States acts sensibly or not."
Jin added, "If they do not do so, they will be shamed yet again on the Korean Peninsula in front of the whole world."
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