South Korea on Friday decided to postpone an attempt to place a satellite into orbit after learning the rocket carrier platform's first stage had a problem with one of its fuel lines, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The rocket firing will not happen until Monday at the earliest, according to officials, who explained that the Korea Space Launch Vehicle must be taken down from the firing platform so a leak in its fuel line can be fixed. The window for the launch extends through the middle of next month, according to officials.
The South's two earlier efforts to place a satellite in orbit were unsuccessful after both rockets broke apart before reaching their planned destination.
North Korea this past spring attempted to send a rocket into space but failed when the vehicle splintered not long after lift-off. Unlike the South, the North is banned by the U.N. Security Council from conducting space rocket launches as they have long-range ballistic missile applications.
Pyongyang insists it has the sovereign right to use space exploration technology. "Some countries assert that the D.P.R.K. should not launch even satellites for peaceful purposes as it is not allowed to launch satellites by use of ballistic missile technology. ... But, the D.P.R.K.'s space development for peaceful purposes is an exercise of sovereign right," a North Korean diplomat said in a recent U.N. speech.
Meanwhile, in bilateral talks in Washington on Wednesday, the U.S. Defense Department agreed to assist the South Korean military in improving its capabilities for detecting attacks and to share data collected by satellites, the Korea Herald reported.