Saturday, April 4, 2009

Wire: No North Korea Rocket Launch Saturday

Off the Wire

Off the Wire:

WASHINGTON, April 4, 2009 -- Newswires reported this morning that North Korea will not hold a planned rocket launch Saturday.

United Press International noted that after holding an emergency meeting of security ministers in the office of South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, an unnamed official said it had been deemed unlikely that Pyongyang would immediately launch the rocket, the South Korean Yonhap News Agency reported.

North Korea had been expected to fire the rocket Saturday after monitoring equipment at launch site had been spotted and its official news agency released a statement that the launch was imminent.

Reuters reported that Japan's government apologized on Saturday for mistakenly announcing that North Korea had launched the rocket.

"We caused a great deal of trouble to the Japanese people. This was a mistake in the transmission of information by the Defence Ministry and the Self-Defence Forces," Defence Minister Yasukazu Hamada told reporters, using the formal name for Japan's military. "I want to apologise to the people from my heart." according to the Reuters report.

An article posted on the AsiaOne News Web site based in Singapore speculated that poor weather and planning may have forced North Korea to delay the launch.

This is a developing story.

(Report from newswire sources.)

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10:22 PM EDT  

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