N. Korea Delays Rocket Launch

'Technical deficiency' hits controversial launch
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 10, 2012 3:30 AM CST

(Newser) – North Korea has extended the launch period for a controversial long-range rocket by another week until December 29, citing technical problems. A spokesman for the North's Korean Committee of Space Technology told state media that scientists found a "technical deficiency in the first-stage control engine module of the rocket." The statement didn't elaborate, but said technicians were "pushing forward" with final preparations for the launch.

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North Korea is making its second attempt of the year to launch a rocket that the United Nations, US, South Korea, and others call a cover meant to test technology for missiles that could be used to strike the United States. International pressure and the prospect of dialogue may be a factor in the delay, analysts in Seoul said—specifically from main ally China, which must have sent a "very strong" message calling for the North to cancel or face a new wave of sanctions. Pyongyang calls the launch a peaceful bid to advance the country's space program, and a last wish of late leader Kim Jong Il. (Read more North Korea stories.)

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