North Korea has conducted a “very important test” at its Sohae satellite launch site, state media reported Sunday, as nuclear negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington remain deadlocked.
The report did not specify what was tested, but the site has previously been used to launch rockets into space.
“A very important test was carried out at the Sohae Satellite Launch on December 7th, 2019,” a spokesman for the North’s National Academy of Science said.
The result of the latest test will have an “important effect” on changing the “strategic status” of North Korea, the spokesman said in a statement carried by the KCNA news agency.
There was no immediate comment from the South Korean military, which usually issues alerts if a missile is seen launching from North Korea.
The reported test comes as North Korea has warned it could take a “new path” amid stalled denuclearization talks with the United States.
Tensions have risen ahead of a year-end deadline set by North Korea, which has called on the United States to change its policy of insisting on Pyongyang's unilateral denuclearization and demanded relief from punishing sanctions.
Analysts have said the site has never before been used to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile, but it has been used to test missile engines and past satellite launches have helped scuttle talks with the United States.
US President Donald Trump told reporters in June 2018 after his first summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that North Korea had pledged to dismantle one of its missile installations, which US officials later identified as Sohae.