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North Korea extends window, plans for rocket launch (+video)

Faced with technical problems, North Korea extended the window during which they plan to launch a long-ranch rocket. It will be the country's second attempt to launch a rocket this year.

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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 control engine module of the rocket." The statement didn't elaborate but said technicians were moving ahead with final preparations for the liftoff from a west coast launch site.

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