North Korean satellite ‘tumbling in orbit’–U.S. reports
WASHINGTON — The North Korean satellite put into orbit after a widely condemned rocket launch over the weekend is not functioning properly, U.S. reports said Monday.
Both CNN and CBS cited unidentified U.S. defense officials as saying that the “Kwangmyongsong-4” satellite is “tumbling in orbit,” meaning that the purported Earth observation satellite is not working properly.
CBS reported that signals from the satellite had also yet to be detected.
Earlier in the day, Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said the United States has determined that the North was able to put a satellite or some space device into orbit. He said, however, that he would leave characterizing how successful that was to the North Koreans.
Sunday‘s launch has drawn widespread condemnation from around the world as a cover for a ballistic missile test banned under U.N. Security Council resolutions. The success in putting the satellite into orbit demonstrated the North has made strides in efforts to develop a long-range missile capable of reaching the U.S.
North Korea says its rocket launches are aimed at putting satellites into orbit, claiming it has the right to peaceful use of space. Experts say, however, that long-range rockets and intercontinental ballistic missiles are basically the same with differences only in payloads.
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