N.Korea conducts rocket engine test

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, second from right, watches a test launch of the Hyunmoo-2 missile at the Agency for Defense Development in Anheung, South Korea, Friday, June 23, 2017.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had said on Thursday that the United States pressed China to ramp up economic and political pressure on North Korea, during his meeting with top Chinese diplomats and defense chiefs.

North and South Korea remain technically at war since the Korean War (1950-1953) ended with an armistice that has not been replaced with a peace treaty.

In February 2012, North Korea agreed to temporarily put a moratorium on missile and nuclear tests and freeze its uranium-enrichment facilities in exchange for 240,000 tons of food aid from the US.

Following the talks, the pair told reporters they pushed China on doing more about North Korea.

The rocket test was conducted in the city of Yun Song, where previous rocket tests have taken place, according to one official, reveals Fox News.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Saturday invited North Korea to the Winter Olympic Games to be held in the country early next year, while welcoming a North Korean delegation to the World Taekwondo Championships.

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In addition to the missile and nuclear programs, tensions with North Korea have spiked after the death of Otto Wambier, a 22-year-old OH native who was held in North Korea for 17 months and died after coming home unable to speak, see or react to verbal commands.

Officials in the USA and overseas are expressing concern over North Korea's space launch program at Sohae on the country's west coast.

The tests present a hard challenge to Moon as he has expressed a desire to reach out to Pyongyang.

For a joint march in PyeongChang to materialize, North Korea must first qualify to compete in the Olympics.

On Friday, a spokesman of the North's Foreign Ministry issued a statement denying that Warmbier had been abused or tortured.

The military said the missile, a Hyunmoo-2 with a range of up to 800 kilometers (nearly 500 miles), hit its target accurately. It also dismissed accusations that he had died because of torture during his captivity in North Korea as "groundless".

Asked if the North planned to launch such a missile, Mr Kye said: "The US is continuously threatening".

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