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N. Korea to continue space program despite setback: report
SEOUL, April 16 (Yonhap) -- North Korea plans to begin the development of a geostationary satellite and a large space launch vehicle in five years despite a recent setback in its space program, a pro-North Korean newspaper in Japan said Monday.

   The move came three days after the North failed to put an earth observation satellite into orbit when its three-stage Unha-3 rocket exploded soon after lift-off and crashed into the sea off South Korea's west coast.

  


The failed rocket launch was the first part of the country's five-year space program that began this year for economic development, the Choson Sinbo said in a dispatch from Pyongyang.

   North Korea will "embark on the development of a geostationary satellite in five years," the newspaper said, citing an unidentified North Korean space official.

   The newspaper, widely seen as a propaganda mouthpiece for Pyongyang, also said the North will develop a space launch vehicle larger than the Unha-3 rocket.

   North Korea will steadily push for a space program as satellite launches are needed to build a prosperous and powerful nation, on the instructions of its late leader Kim Jong-il, the newspaper said.

   On Sunday, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un pledged to uphold the instructions of his father, Kim Jong-il, in his first public speech since he took over the country following the December death of his father.

   entropy@yna.co.kr
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