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N. Korea extending rocket launch period to Dec. 29

North-Korea-Rocket-Launch

North Koreans walk by the portraits of they country's national founder Kim Il Sung, left, and late leader Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang, North Korea today.

KYODO NEWS Enlarge

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea says it's extending the launch period for a controversial long-range rocket by another week until Dec. 29.

An unidentified spokesman for the North's Korean Committee of Space Technology told state media Monday that scientists found a “technical deficiency in the first-stage control engine module of the rocket.” The statement didn't elaborate.

It says technicians are “pushing forward” with final preparations for the launch.

The United Nations, Washington, Seoul and others call North Korean launches covers meant to test technology for missiles that could be used to strike the United States.

North Korea says its launches are aimed at putting a peaceful satellite into orbit.

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