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N Korea at crossroads

North and South Korea race to develop reconnaissance abilities

Rivals launch solid-fuel rockets and deploy drones in tit-for-tat measures

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, accompanied by his daughter, inspects an ICBM. (KCNA via Reuters) 

SEOUL -- Parts of South Korea and even Japan were treated to an early New Year's fireworks display on Friday when Seoul test-fired a rocket believed to be part of the Defense Ministry's efforts to develop military reconnaissance satellites.

This was the second firing of the rocket, which features a solid-fuel engine that makes it easier to mass produce. The first launch occurred in March, and the engine itself was first successfully fired in 2021.

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