North Korea: Satellite fails to enter orbit

By Jean H. Lee/The Associated Press

PYONGYANG, North Korea — North Korean state media are acknowledging the country’s satellite has failed to enter orbit.

The statement Friday came after U.S. and South Korean officials said the North’s much-anticipated rocket launch ended quickly in failure earlier in the day.

The U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command says the first stage fell into the sea 165 kilometers (100 miles) west of Seoul, while stages two and three failed.

The U.S., South Korea and other countries call the launch a cover for a test of missile technology.

North Korea says it’s part of a peaceful effort to send a satellite into space to commemorate the anniversary of its founder’s birth.

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