North Koreans wait for a bus in snow-covered Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Dec. 10, 2012. North Korea on Monday extended the launch period for a controversial long-range rocket by another week until Dec. 29, citing technical problems. (AP Photo/Kyodo News) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT, NO LICENSING IN CHINA, FRANCE, HONG KONG, JAPAN AND SOUTH KOREA
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea is pressing ahead with preparation for a long-range rocket launch after extending its liftoff window by another week until Dec. 29 because of technical problems.
It’s North Korea’s second attempt this year, and the fifth since 1998, to launch a rocket that the United Nations, Washington, Seoul and others call a cover meant to test technology for missiles that could be used to strike the United States. They have warned North Korea to cancel the launch or face more sanctions.
The North Koreans call the launch a peaceful bid to advance their space program and a last wish of late leader Kim Jong Il, who died on Dec. 17 last year. North Korea is also celebrating the centennial this year of the birth of national founder Kim Il Sung, current leader Kim Jong Un’s grandfather. The rocket it launched in April broke apart seconds after liftoff.
On Monday, an unidentified spokesman for the North’s Korean Committee of Space Technology told state media that scientists found a “technical deficiency in the first-stage Login to read more