North Korea conducted a ground test of a new rocket engine thrust system that analysts fear could be another ominous sign of its nuclear ballistic missile ambitions.
North Korea's official news agency called the rocket test "another miracle" and said it was "a great event of historic significance" for the country's space program.
Judging from pictures released by the government over the weekend, the communist regime's dictator Kim Jong Un was all smiles as he watched his generals launch the high-thrust rocket engine from the Sohae launch station.
Kim was surrounded by ecstatic soldiers after the test, some of whom appeared to be weeping, others jumping for joy, and one general even got a piggyback from the dictator.
Kim called the test the "March 18 Revolution," claiming that it marked a huge development for his country's satellite program, which he insists is for peaceful purposes.
The US dismisses that claim, saying it believes North Korea is working to develop nuclear warhead missiles that could reach the United States.
The rocket engine test comes after the regime recently conducted five nuclear tests and a series of missile launches in defiance of the United Nations.
The South Korean Defense Ministry said on Monday that the move did a lot to improve North Korea's rocket engine capability.
"We evaluate that North Korea has achieved a significant advancement in enhancing engine capability through this engine test," said Colonel Lee Jin-woo, a South Korean defense spokesman.
President Trump blasted the dictator tweeting on Friday that "North Korea is behaving very badly."
North Korea is behaving very badly. They have been "playing" the United States for years. China has done little to help!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 17, 2017
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who is traveling in Asia, said America's attitude toward North Korea has changed.
"Let me be very clear the policy of strategic patience has ended," Tillerson said.
Tillerson has said the North has nothing to fear from the US, but he also says diplomacy has failed.
He's warned that the US would consider a preemptive military strike against the regime and has called on China to do more to rein in its North Korean ally.