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North Korea goes back to drawing board after failed rocket launch

Latest setback unlikely to deter Pyongyang's plans for military clout

A handout picture shows what is believed to be part of the space launch vehicle that North Korea said crashed into the sea off the west coast of the Korean Peninsula on May 31.   © The Defense Ministry/Reuters

SEOGWIPO, South Korea -- North Korea's failed attempt on Wednesday to put a satellite into orbit represents an embarrassing but minor blip in the country's long-term ambition to fashion itself as a technological and military power, analysts said.

Bruce Bennett, senior defense analyst at RAND Corp., said that the glitch that caused the crash was predictable, but would still spark hand-wringing in North Korea. "It's not a huge failure, but it clearly shows that [leader Kim Jong Un] is behind South Korea, and that's not something he likes," Bennett told Nikkei Asia.

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