Tillerson rocket-tested by Pyongyang. @GordonGChang @ThadMcCotter Bruce Bechtol.

Mar 21, 2017, 03:43 AM

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Tillerson rocket-tested by Pyongyang. @GordonGChang @ThadMcCotter Bruce Bechtol.

Hong Kong (CNN)North Korea's test of a rocket engine Sunday showed "meaningful" signs of progress, according to South Korean officials. "Through this test, it is assessed that (North Korea) has made meaningful progress in engine performance, but further analysis is needed for exact thrust and its possible uses in future," said South Korean Defense Ministry deputy spokesman Lee Jin-woo. He said the equipment tested "appears to have one main engine with four auxiliary engines connected to it. We believe this was an attempt to develop a new engine."

Pyongyang, for its part, touted the test as a "great leap forward" in its rocket program. Many analysts linked the timing of the test to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's first visit to north Asia, which ended in Beijing Sunday. http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/20/asia/north-korea-rocket-engine/

The United States and China will work together to get nuclear-armed North Korea take "a different course", U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Saturday, softening previous criticism of Beijing after talks with his Chinese counterpart. China has been irritated at being repeatedly told by Washington to rein in North Korea's surging nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, one of a series of hurdles in ties between the world's two largest economies. But Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi described the talks with Tillerson as "candid, pragmatic and productive". The two sides appeared to have made some progress or put aside differences on difficult issues, at least in advance of a planned summit between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump. On Friday, Tillerson issued the Trump administration's starkest warning yet to North Korea, saying in Seoul that a military response would be "on the table" if Pyongyang took action to threaten South Korean and U.S. forces. Tillerson took a softer line after the meeting with Wang. He told reporters both China and the United States noted efforts over the last two decades had not succeeded in curbing the threat posed by North Korea's weapons programmes….”