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North Korean launch fails
Posted: Fri, Apr 13, 2012, 10:09 AM ET (1409 GMT)
Unha-3 rocket on North Korean pad (Xinhua) A North Korean rocket lifted off early Friday but failed to place its satellite into orbit, a failure even acknowledged by government officials. The Unha-3 rocket lifted off from its launch site at Tongchang-ri in northwestern North Korea at approximately 6:39 pm EDT Thursday (2239 GMT Thursday, 7:39 am local time Friday) carrying what government officials said was a small remote sensing satellite. However, US and others tracking the launch reported that the satellite failed to make orbit, most likely due to some kind of problem during the staging event between the rocket's first and second stages. The rocket stages splashed down in the Yellow Sea about 200 kilometers off the coast of South Korea. North Korean state media also announced the launch had failed a few hours later, a break from past launch attempts in 1998 and 2009, when North Korean officials insisted their satellites reached orbit despite a lack of evidence from outside sources. This latest launch attempt was strongly criticized by many other nations, including the US, Japan, and South Korea, who saw it as a long-range missile test in disguise.
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