North Korea may delay rocket launch

Last Updated: Sun, Dec 09, 2012 14:40 hrs

Moscow, Dec 9 (IANS/RIA Novosti) North Korea may postpone the controversial launch of a long-range rocket scheduled between Dec 10 and 22, the South Korean media reported Sunday.

North Korea's Central News Agency (KCNA) said earlier on Sunday Pyongyang was considering postponing the rocket launch for a number of reasons.

North Korea may have decided to delay the launch due to technical problems or heavy snow blanketing the North's northwest where the three-stage rocket is set to be launched, media reports said.

Pyongyang angered the international community after its Dec 1 announcement that it would attempt another rocket launch, the country's second this year.

While North Korean authorities have claimed the rocket will attempt to send a satellite into outer space, the international community has condemned what it believes to be the development of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) programme meant to ferry nuclear warheads.

South Korean media reports, quoting unnamed sources in Seoul, have indicated that North Korean technicians have already mounted the rocket on its launch pad. The launch window will remain open until Dec 22.

A previous attempted launch of a North Korean rocket last April ended in failure after the rocket exploded shortly after lift-off.

--IANS/RIA Novosti


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