PANMUNJOM, SOUTH KOREA - MAY 26: A North Korean national flag in North Korea's propaganda village of Gijungdong is seen from an observation post on May 26, 2010 in Panmunjom, South Korea.
Photographer: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images
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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - North Korea says it's extending the launch period for a controversial long-range rocket by another week until December 29.
An unidentified spokesman for the North's Korean Committee of Space Technology told state media Monday that scientists found a "technical deficiency in the first-stage control engine module of the rocket." The statement didn't elaborate.
It says technicians are "pushing forward" with final preparations for the launch.
The United Nations, Washington, Seoul and others call North Korean launches covers meant to test technology for missiles that could be used to strike the United States.
North Korea says its launches are aimed at putting a peaceful satellite into orbit.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.