North Korea Rocket Launch: Complete Coverage
This still from a CNN broadcast shows North Korea's Unha-3 rocket, as the country officials prepared for an attempted satellite launch in April 2012.
Credit: CNN Video

North Korea says it will launch a new Unha-3 rocket carrying an Earth-observing satellite into orbit in April 2012 to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il Sung, the country's founder. The launch window ranges between April 12 and April 16. Many nations, including the United States, South Korea and Japan, have condemned the planned launch, which they see as a military missile test in disguise.

Update for April 13, 5:53 p.m. ET

In a rare and embarrassing admission, North Korea publically acknowledged that its Unha-3 rocket failed to reach orbit during an attempted April 13 launch. The failed launch was the third attempt by North Korea to orbit a satellite. All three have failed. After earlier attempts, one in 1998 and the other in 2009, North Korean officials maintained the launches were successful despite confirmation of failure by U.S. intelligence officials. Full Story

  • Space.com
  • Satellite! North Korea should be welcomed into the group of space powers.
  • Missile Test! The Unha-3 rocket mission is a thinly veiled effort to test weapons.
  • Undecided: North Korea\'s trademark secrecy makes it too unclear to call.

Multimedia

North Korea Rocket Fail - Video Depicts Break-up and Fallout

Images: North Korea's Rocket and Missile Program

Video: North Korea Rocket Launch - What Path Will It Take?

North Korea's Unha-3 Rocket Launch Plan Explained (Infographic )

Launch Coverage

Friday, April 13

North Korea Admits Rocket Launch Failure in Rare Statement
North Korea officially acknowledged the failure of its latest rocket launch Friday (April 13) in a rare admission from the reclusive nation, which defied international warnings not to launch what the United States and other countries saw as a missile weapons test.


Thursday, April 12

North Korea Long-Range Rocket Launch Fails: Reports
A defiant North Korea attempted to launch its new long-range rocket early Friday despite international warnings to stand down, but the vehicle failed to reach space and apparently crashed into the sea, according to press reports. 

North Korea Rocket Launch Envisioned in Video Animation
As the world watches and waits to see if North Korea will continue in its bid to launch a long-range rocket despite international warnings, a new video animation reveals just how the space test could occur.

Wednesday, April 11

North Korea Rocket Launch Site Seen From Space
New satellite photos of North Korea reveal fresh details about the nation's space launch
facilities, where preparations continue for the imminent, and highly controversial, flight of a long-range rocket.

North Korea's Rocket Launch: 5 Questions (and Answers )
North Korea is launching what it says is a rocket and satellite, but critics call the move a veiled missile launch test. See big questions and answers for the Unha-3 rocket launch.

North Korea Fueling Long-Range Rocket for Defiant Launch
North Korea has reportedly begun fueling its new long-range rocket for what it says is a benign satellite launch, despite continuing condemnation by the United States and other countries, which see the flight as a defiant missile test.

Why North Korea's Location Complicates Controversial Rocket Launch
The latitude and position of North Korea lead some experts to question whether the country is aiming its satellite for orbit at all. SPACE.com looks at challenge for N. Korea's rocket launch.

North Korea's missile launch site is located at Tongchang-ri.
North Korea's missile launch site is located at Tongchang-ri.
Credit: Karl Tate/SPACE.com

Tuesday, April 10

North Korea Readies Long-Range Rocket for Launch Despite Warnings
North Korea is proceeding with preparations to launch an Earth-observing satellite into orbit atop a long-range rocket. The controversial launch has been condemned by other nations, including the U.S. and South Korea.

Monday, April 9

North Korea Poised for Controversial Rocket Launch
North Korea is planning to launch an Earth-observing satellite on a long-range rocket sometime between April 12 and 16. The launch has been condemned by the U.S. and South Korea as a disguise for testing military missiles.

Monday April 2

North Korea's Rocket Technology Explained: An Observer's Guide
As North Korea gears up for a controversial satellite launch next month, here's a brief rundown of the Hermit Kingdom's long-range rockets and missiles.

In this still from a CNN broadcast, a North Korean official briefs reporters on the Kawngmyongsong-1 ("Bright Star 1") satellite, which is set to launch atop the country's Unha-3 ("Galaxy-3") rocket to launch in April 2012.
In this still from a CNN broadcast, a North Korean official briefs reporters on the Kawngmyongsong-1 ("Bright Star 1") satellite, which is set to launch atop the country's Unha-3 ("Galaxy-3") rocket to launch in April 2012.
Credit: CNN

Monday, March 26

South Korea Says It May Shoot Down North Korean Rocket
North Korea's plans to launch a satellite into space on a long-range rocket has sparked controversy from American and South Korean officials.

Friday, March 16

North Korea's Rockets and Space Program Shrouded in Uncertainty
As North Korea gears up for a controversial satellite launch next month, the capabilities and intent of the secretive nation's space program remain shrouded in mystery.

North Korea to Launch Satellite on Long-Range Rocket in April
North Korea announced plans to launch a satellite on a long-range rocket next month, according to news reports.

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