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DPRK rocket launch delayed

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) did not launch a long-range rocket by the end of the first day of the time frame that Pyongyang has provided to international agencies, South Korea's presidential office said today.

As an emergency meeting of security ministers, held at South Korea's presidential office, ended, officials said that the DPRK is not likely to fire the rocket today, according to South Korea's Yonhap News Agency.

"The emergency meeting has been ended. We believe the North will not fire the rocket today," Yonhap quoted an official from the presidential office as saying.

The South Korean government will be on standby again from 11:00am (0200 GMT) tomorrow, Yonhap said.

The DPRK was expected to fire its rocket today as its official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) announced at 10:00 am (0100 GMT) today that the launch was coming "soon."

The DPRK announced today that it will "soon" launch communications satellite Kwangmyongsong-2, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

"Preparations for launching 'Kwangmyongsong-2,' an experimental communications satellite, by carrier rocket 'Unha-2' have been completed at the satellite launching ground in the east coastal area of the DPRK," the KCNA reported.

Speculation has been raised on the possibility that the launch may be delayed due to bad weather as the DPRK's state-run radio Korean Central Broadcasting Station said that "relatively strong" winds are blowing on its northeast coast, which is around the launch site, Yonhap said.

But South Korea's weather agency said the DPRK is expected to have better weather for launch tomorrow, with weaker winds and less cloud cover.

Pyongyang had noticed international agencies that it will launch a communications satellite between 11 am and 4 pm (0200-0700 GMT) and between today and Wednesday (April 4-8).


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