Socialist regime claims new development that, if true, means the ability to launch a surprise attack on the U.S.

North Korea’s state-run media announced Thursday they had successfully tested a new solid-fuel rocket engine, a claim that, if true, gives the socialist dictatorship the ability to launch missiles with greater speed.

Solid-fueled engines do not require a “fill-up” before launch, like the nation’s current liquid-fueled stockpile, greatly reducing the time needed to launch and giving the United States less ability to detect launches before they occur.

The state-run Korean Central News Agency reports supreme leader Kim Jong Un “expressed expectation and belief that the scientists and technicians in the field of national defense science would achieve successes one after another to instill conviction and optimism into the service personnel and people of the DPRK and, at the same time, strike great horror and terror into the hearts of the enemies, bearing in mind the heavy, yet honorable, duties they have assumed before the times, the revolution, the country and its people.”

North Korea claims the ability to conduct a nuclear strike on the United States is necessary to their security, citing their belief a U.S.-led invasion of their country is imminent.

This belief dates back six decades to the Korean War, in which Korea was divided in two under the terms of an armistice, but which has never officially ended.

The claim is central to North Korean propaganda, in order to maintain internal order and support for the regime.  It is taught from birth and is even part of weekly elementary school curricula.  It justifies total and unquestioned support for the Kim lineage and makes North Koreans afraid and untrusting of the outside world.

Both the United States and South Korea have no desire to invade North Korea, citing widespread poverty and a total lack of infrastructure that would place a crushing financial burden on any government taking the place of the current regime.

Any attempt to destabilize North Korea or terminate its leadership could send the nation’s 24 million citizens fleeing to China and South Korea, setting off a humanitarian crisis.

North Korea’s claim comes near the end of annual military exercises in the region by U.S. and South Korean forces, which the North claims are conducted in order to give cover to potential invasions.

North Korea’s current missile technology is believed by many to be capable of reaching the West Coast of the United States.  The regime also has a small stockpile of nuclear warheads, but none are believed capable of being delivered by missile.

Claims by the regime to have detonated a nuclear weapon capable of being used in an intercontinental missile have been met with skepticism by scientists studying the seismic signature of the explosions, noting it appears identical to previous North Korean nuclear tests.

North Korea also claims to have developed heat shield technology that would allow for atmospheric re-entry necessary to travel far enough to reach the East Coast of the United States.