| GEO World|
| NKorea conducts engine tests at new missile site|
| Updated at: 1355 PST, Tuesday, September 16, 2008|
SEOUL: North Korea has carried out an engine ignition test for a missile believed to be capable of reaching the US west coast, a South Korean newspaper said Tuesday.
Chosun Ilbo, quoting intelligence sources, said the engine was presumed to be for the Taepodong-2 missile with a range of 6,700 kilometres (4,150 miles).
It said the test was conducted at a missile launch site being developed on the west coast whose existence was publicly reported last week.
"A US spy satellite, KH-12, spotted that rocket engine tests took place at Tongchang-ri this year," one source told Chosun, adding the site was near completion.
Another source told the paper the communist North had sporadically conducted engine tests in a continuing attempt to develop long-range missiles since its failed test-firing of a Taepodong-2 in July 2006.
North Korea has a separate site at Musudan-ri on the east coast which was used to launch a Taepodong-1 missile in 1998 over Japan. The Taepodong-2 missile was launched from there in 2006 but US officials said it failed after about 40 seconds.