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Russian observer says North Korea's failed launch not surprising

Thursday, Apr 12, 2012 - 02:25

April 13 - Russian space expert says failure of North Korean rocket launch is only minor setback; Kim statue unveiled in grand ceremony. Michaela Cabrera reports.

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PLEASE NOTE, THIS EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL In a country where information is tightly controlled, Friday's announcement of an unsucessful rocket launch was a rare admission of failure. North Korean state media said the launched satellite failed to reach orbit, and scientists were finding out what went wrong. The rocket launch was surrounded with much hype, meant to burnish the credentials of North Korea's new leader Kim Jong-Un. Journalists and observers were even invited to the normally reclusive country. A Russian space policy expert, Yuri Karash, among those invited to Pyongyang, said the failure was not a huge setback. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SPACE POLICY EXPERT FROM THE RUSSIAN ACADEMY OF COSMONAUTICS, YURI KARASH, SAYING: "I'm not really surprised about the failure of the launch, because if you look at the history of the development of the rocketry in the Soviet Union or in the United States or in Germany during the Second World War, you will see that it really took a lot of launches for these countries to improve their rocket technology. So I would be quite surprised if the third launch of a North Korean rocket would end up in a success, although I believe that they had from 60 to 70 percent chance to successfully put the satellite into orbit." Karash thinks this certainly is not the end of North Korea's space ambitions. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SPACE POLICY EXPERT FROM THE RUSSIAN ACADEMY OF COSMONAUTICS, YURI KARASH, SAYING: "I'm sure that the North Koreans will go ahead with their space programme because for them to cancel it would be a blow to their regime, because they claim that the regime created a very favourable environment for the development of science and technology (flash) So they cannot cancel it for ideological reasons. They will go ahead." The failure is the first major challenge for Kim Jong-Un. North Korean had planned to make 2012 the year to become a strong and prosperous nation. In fact the launch was timed for the 100th birthday of the nation's founder Kim Il-Sung. Though the satellite project was not a success, it did not dampen a grand ceremony that unveiled a new statue of former leader Kim Jong-Il. Michaela Cabrera, Reuters.

Russian observer says North Korea's failed launch not surprising

Thursday, Apr 12, 2012 - 02:25

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