Skip to main content

North Korea concludes investigation into failed rocket launch

By Jethro Mullen, CNN
updated 3:34 AM EDT, Fri April 20, 2012
North Korean technicians check the Unha-3 rocket at Tangachai -ri space center on April 8.
North Korean technicians check the Unha-3 rocket at Tangachai -ri space center on April 8.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A North Korean rocket broke apart soon after take off last week
  • Pyongyang says experts have concluded their investigation into the failure
  • It doesn't give an explanation for why the launch failed
  • The U.N. Security Council says the move was a "serious violation" of resolutions

Hong Kong (CNN) -- North Korea says its scientists have concluded their investigation into the failure of the country's long-range rocket launch last week, but it declined to divulge why the flight ended in a trail of debris strewn across the sea.

Experts have "wound up the specific and scientific probe into the cause" of the rocket's failure to put a satellite into orbit, the official Korean Central News Agency said in a report late Thursday without elaborating on what the cause was.

Pyongyang had insisted that the purpose of the launch was to send an "earth observation satellite" into space. But the United States, South Korea and Japan called the operation a ballistic missile test in disguise.

North Korea's Kim Jong Un speaks

"All the scientific and technological data and precious experience gained this time will serve as a very precious boon to space development and a reliable guarantee for greater success in the days ahead," the KCNA report said, citing an unidentified spokesman for the Korean Committee for Space Technology.

How NK leaders reacted to launch failure

The rocket flew for only about a minute and half after its take off on April 13 before it broke into pieces above the Yellow Sea.

On Monday, the U.N. Security Council condemned the failed launch, saying it was "a serious violation" of previous council resolutions and "has caused grave security concerns in the region."

North Korea said in the state media report Thursday that it had "never recognized" the U.N. resolution on the matter, describing it as "a product of sinister intentions of the hostile forces."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 4:51 AM EDT, Mon September 15, 2014
North Korea has "the world's most advantageous human rights system," the country declares.
updated 9:35 PM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
Three Americans detained in North Korea spoke out about their conditions Monday in an exclusive interview with CNN.
updated 4:52 AM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
The crowd cheers as the stars make their way to the ring for first pro-wrestling bout North Korea has seen in almost 20 years.
updated 9:37 PM EDT, Sat August 30, 2014
CNN's Will Ripley makes a rare live report from reclusive North Korea.
updated 10:45 AM EDT, Tue September 2, 2014
CNN's Will Ripley is given a rare look inside North Korea and tours Kim Jong Un's pet project, a waterpark.
updated 8:21 AM EDT, Mon August 18, 2014
North Korea rejected an invitation to the Pope's Mass in Seoul. CNN's Paula Hancocks reports.
updated 6:25 PM EDT, Wed July 2, 2014
As diplomats discuss a string of unsolved kidnappings of Japanese citizens by North Korea, the families of those abducted anxiously wait.
updated 7:57 PM EDT, Thu July 3, 2014
When President Xi Jinping arrives in Seoul this week, the Chinese leader will have passed over North Korea in favor of its arch rival.
updated 11:13 PM EDT, Mon June 30, 2014
North Korea says it plans to prosecute two American tourists that it detained earlier this year, accusing them of "perpetrating hostile acts."
updated 7:38 PM EDT, Mon June 30, 2014
North Korea proposed that "all hostile military activities" with South Korea be halted, but it attached conditions that Seoul is likely to reject.
updated 8:23 PM EDT, Thu June 26, 2014
North Korean state news is reporting the country test-launched "cutting-edge ultra precision tactical guided missiles."
updated 7:45 AM EDT, Wed June 25, 2014
James Franco won't be following Dennis Rodman into North Korea anytime soon.
updated 7:04 AM EDT, Fri June 13, 2014
Don't you hate it when the weatherman gets it wrong? Apparently, so does Kim Jong Un.
updated 7:44 PM EDT, Thu June 5, 2014
New signs show Russia and North Korea are developing a closer relationship.
updated 8:12 PM EDT, Wed May 21, 2014
Photographer Eric Lafforgue visited North Korea and shares his inside look at the most isolated country in the world.
updated 9:25 PM EDT, Mon May 12, 2014
Many North Koreans listen to illegal broadcasts on homemade radios, some are convinced to defect.
updated 3:26 PM EDT, Thu May 8, 2014
Jang Jin-Sung, a North Korean defector and former regime insider, speaks with CNN's Christiane Amanpour.
ADVERTISEMENT