Snow Slows North Korea’s Rocket Launch Preparations

SEOUL, South Korea (December 7, 2012)--New satellite images show that heavy snowfall may have slowed North Korean rocket launch preparations, but that Pyongyang could still be ready for liftoff by Monday.

Analysis of GeoEye satellite images from Dec. 4 by the website 38 North in cooperation with NorthKoreaTech shows that snow may have kept Pyongyang from erecting its three-stage Unha rocket at the west coast launch site by Wednesday, which contradicted South Korean media reports that the rocket had been set up by then.

Imagery expert Nick Hansen wrote the analysis, which was provided to The Associated Press.

Washington believes Pyongyang's rocket launch is a cover to test technology for missiles that could one day attack the United States.

North Korea says it wants to launch a peaceful satellite between Monday and Dec. 22.

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