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(Naro) S. Korean military supports rocket launch
By Kim Eun-jung
SEOUL, Jan. 30 (Yonhap) - The South Korean military has deployed two Aegis destroyers off its southern coast to trace a space rocket to be launched later in the day, the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Wednesday.

   The two Aegis warships with an advanced radar system left for the nation's southern waters to follow the path of the two-stage Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1 (KSLV-1) after it takes off at Naro Space Center on the south coast at 4 p.m.

  


"The Navy has deployed two Aegis warships to guard southern waters near Naro Space Center to support the successful launch of the space rocket," a JCS official said.

   One of the two ships is responsible for tracking the rocket from the beginning until its second stage ignition, while the other will follow thereafter until combustion is over, the official said.

   The SPY-1 radar system aboard the Aegis ships can track hundreds of targets as far as 1,000 kilometers away.

   The Navy has mobilized high-speed vessels, patrol ships and destroyers to guard the waters off the space center and help evacuate civilian vessels from the area.

   The Air Force set a "no-fly" zone to make sure no civilian aircrafts enter the area and deployed patrol aircrafts and the early warning aircraft "Peace Eye" for aerial guard, officials said.

   Wednesday's launch will be South Korea's third attempt to send a satellite into space from its own soil. The two earlier launches of the KSLV-1 in 2009 and 2010 ended in failure. Naro's third launch was originally set to take place on Oct. 26, and again on Nov. 29, but was delayed both times due to technical problems.

   ejkim@yna.co.kr
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