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April 23, 2021
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North Korea extends launch window for rocket after technical problems

North Korea has extended the window for a controversial long-range rocket launch by one week after finding technical problems in an engine, state media reported Monday, quoted by CNN. The planned launch has been widely condemned by other countries like the United States and South Korea, which say it’s cover for testing ballistic missile technology. The North insists the launch is aimed at putting a scientific satellite in orbit.When it announced its plans on December 1, the reclusive North Korean regime said it intended to carry out the launch between Monday and December 22. But on Saturday, the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said the launch may be delayed.In a new article Monday, KCNA reported that scientists and technicians had “found technical deficiency in the first-stage control engine module of the rocket,” citing a spokesman for the Korean Committee of Space Technology.As a result, they have decided to extend the launch period until December 29, the agency said. The problem mentioned by the news report suggests the solution may not be “a quick fix,” said Jon Ahn of the Aerospace Engineering Department at Sejong University in South Korea. 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. Pyongyang has said the planned rocket launch would be “true to the behests” of Kim Jong Il, the late North Korean leader and father of Kim Jong Un, head of the ruling regime.A group of Iranian missile experts are in North Korea offering technical assistance with a planned long-range rocket launch condemned by the international community, a report said Monday, quoted by dailystar.com. The Iranians were invited after Pyongyang’s last rocket launch in April ended in failure, the Chosun Ilbo newspaper said, citing a Seoul government official. “It appears that the connection between the North and Iran in missile (development) dating back to the 1980s is more extensive than previously believed,” the official said.

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