N. Korea extends rocket launch window

SEOUL: North Korea on Monday extended the window for its planned rocket launch by one week, in order to deal with a "technical deficiency" with the first stage of the carrier.

The original December 10-22 window was extended to December 29, the Korean Committee of Space Technology said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.

The statement stressed that scientists and technicians were still "pushing forward" with preparations for the mission, which has been widely condemned by the international community.

"They, however, found technical deficiency in the first-stage control engine module of the rocket... and decided to extend the launch period," it said.

North Korea says the rocket launch is a peaceful mission aimed at putting a satellite in orbit.

The United States and its allies view it as a disguised ballistic missile test banned under UN resolutions prompted by the North's nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009.

- AFP/ck

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