December 04, 2012 12:47
The North Korean regime seems intent on downplaying an impending rocket launch domestically, perhaps because it is wary of the disappointment another failure could bring.
The North's official KCNA news agency and other state media only briefly announced the plan to the international community in the form of a statement from the country's space committee, but official newspapers and TV kept quiet.
This contrasts starkly with the enormous advance publicity for the last launch attempt in April. The announcement on March 16 was carried by all state media, and special reports, editorials and other articles followed until the launch on April 13.
The Rodong Sinmun daily front page on March 17 devoted the entire front page to the announcement along with various articles by purported experts on the North's future plans for space exploration.
"North Korea probably tried to put out the lie at home that the failed launch in April was in fact successful," said a government official here. "But it had to concede failure because of the international media attention." The North unprecedentedly invited the foreign media to the launch. "It looks like they learned a lesson from that failure," the official added.
A Unification Ministry official here speculated that this time round the regime "will probably wait to see whether the launch succeeds before it boasts about it."
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