North Korea's state media says its military has tested a new high-performance rocket engine.
North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un announced the ground test of a "high-thrust engine" to be used in a rocket, the country's state-run media said Saturday.
Experts cited by South Korea's Yonhap News Agency suggested the test was similar to an experiment last September, but the flame shown on the North's latest footage indicated Pyongyang may have an engine capable of blasting a weapon as far as the USA mainland.
The US and China have pledged to work together to get the North to take "a different course" and move away from its weapons programmes. "The Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the Korean Workers" Party (KWP), devoted the front page of its March 19 edition to the test, printing eight pictures and declaring that "a new engine that had been researched and developed completely using North Korean methods had been immediately successful in its first test".
Experts say the VX nerve agent used to kill Kim was nearly certainly produced in a sophisticated state weapons laboratory, and North Korea is widely believed to possess large quantities of chemical weapons.
Mr. Tillerson has also visited US allies Japan and South Korea where he said the USA would no longer observe the "failed" approach of patient diplomacy with Pyongyang, warning that American military action against the North was "on the table".
Tillerson has emphasized the need for a new approach to deal with the growing North Korean nuclear threat, and he stressed that the United States is willing to consider "all options" to rein in North Korea's aggressive military policies.
Overseeing the test, leader Kim Jong-Un "emphasised that the whole world will soon witness what eventful significance the great victory won today carries", KCNA reported, hinting that the North is preparing to launch a new satellite rocket.
North Korea has stepped up its efforts to develop a nuclear-tipped missile that could reach the USA mainland, although experts are divided on how close it is to reaching its stated goal.
In a statement from North Korea's Foreign Ministry, the parameters of what Pyongyang considered a provocation to resort to nuclear war was concisely laid out.
"I can't reveal much but there are several more people we are going after, other than the three North Koreans who we believe are holed up at their embassy in Kuala Lumpur", Khalid said after launching a donation drive for retired policemen in conjunction with the 210th Police Day celebration at Taming Sari here yesterday.
The US alleges that these tests have been carried out in violation of the UN Security Council resolution.