N.Korean satellite tumbling out of control?

Last Updated: Thu, Dec 13, 2012 12:58 hrs

London: A satellite that North Korea launched into space appears to be "tumbling out of control" as it orbits the earth, causing concern that it could crashland with potentially dangerous consequences, a British daily reported.

US defence officials said the "object" which was launched Wednesday has adopted an unstable trajectory, according to the Daily Mail.

While admitting that the craft was "some kind of space vehicle", the White House said the rocket launch was a highly provocative act. The UN Security Council called it a "clear violation" of UN resolutions.

Countries are also fearing that the object, which North Korea claims is a weather satellite, could collide with other orbiting vehicles above Earth.

In 2009, a defunct one-tonne Russian satellite with a nuclear reactor on-board collided with an American orbiter over Siberia causing a bus-sized piece of debris to re-enter the atmosphere, although it landed in the Atlantic Ocean.

However, the collision did cause over 600 piece of debris to scatter over Mexico but there were no injuries or damage to property, the daily said.

North Korea is currently banned from conducting missile and nuclear tests under the terms of UN sanctions imposed after a series of nuclear weapons tests in 2006 and 2009.

The country's official KCNA news agency said it was a weather satellite that achieved orbit as planned.

However, the US said the launch was an attempt to perfect a three-stage intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead to the West Coast of America.

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