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Report: North Korea considers delaying rocket launch

From KJ Kwon, CNN
December 10, 2012 -- Updated 0226 GMT (1026 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • North Korea has announced it will launch a rocket in December
  • A report says the launch may be rescheduled
  • Officials gave no reason why there may be a change

Seoul, South Korea (CNN) -- An announced rocket launch by North Korea this month may be delayed, officials there said Saturday, but did not give a reason for the change

North Korean scientists and technicians are "seriously examining the issue of readjusting the launching time" of a second long-range rocket this year, the state-run Korean Central News Agency reported, citing a spokesman for the Korean Committee of Space Technology.

Despite the potential delay, preparations for a launch continue, the spokesman said.

No explanation for a change in plan was provided other than citing "some reasons" for a delay.

North Korea had said it would launch the rocket between Monday and December 22 in a fresh attempt to put a satellite in orbit. But other countries, including the United States, say the move is a cover for testing ballistic missile technology, which the United Nations has forbidden the North from doing.

Analysts have cited a number of possible reasons for Pyongyang's decision to carry out an unprecedented second launch this year, after a failed effort in April, including significant anniversaries related to the reclusive state's ruling dynasty.

Previous launch attempts by the North in 2006 and 2009 also failed to achieve their stated goal of putting a satellite in orbit and provoked international condemnation.

CNN's Paula Hancocks contributed to this report.

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