North Korea 'may delay rocket launch'

Last Updated: Sun, Dec 09, 2012 06:03 hrs

North Korea may postpone the launch of a rocket carrying a satellite scheduled for between 10 and 22 December, country's officials have said.

State media gave no reason for the delay, but an expert has suggested snow might have interrupted preparations.

North Korea's space programme has caused panic around the region because some countries believe it is a cover for the development of a weapons system.

The US and other nations said that the launch constitutes a test of long-range missile technology banned under UN resolutions, the BBC reports.

According to the report, in recent days, the US said it was moving navy ships into position to track the rocket, and Japan issued an order to its military to shoot down any rocket debris that infringed its territory.

A spokesman for the Korean Committee of Space Technology told North Korea's state news agency KCNA that final preparations were being made for the launch, the report added.

But he added that scientists and technicians were 'seriously examining the issue of readjusting the launching time of the satellite for some reasons', the report said.

According to an expert on the 38 North website, satellite images of the launch site dated 4 December suggested heavy snowfall may have harmed the preparations, the report added. (ANI)

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