North Korea rocket test ups ante with belligerent Trump administration

Washington’s own provocative stance may play into Pyongyang’s hands and reduce China’s willingness to cooperate

North Korea’s latest provocation, a weekend rocket engine test coinciding with high-level US-China talks in Beijing, has underlined just how dangerous and unpredictable the escalating military confrontation on the Korean peninsula is becoming.

The Trump administration, far from calming matters, appears set on raising the stakes in a power contest nobody can win. The reportedly successful test of the high-thrust engine at the Tongchang-ri rocket launch station, announced on Sunday, was hailed by North Korea’s maverick dictator, Kim Jong-un, as a breakthrough. The official KCNA news agency said the engine would be used to launch space satellites.

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March 20th, 2017 by