N. Korea stops rocket launch preparations: Report

SEOUL - North Korea has stopped all preparations for a rocket launch at a site in the country's northwest, a South Korean official told Yonhap News Agency on Sunday.

The report came after North Korea said earlier Sunday it may delay the much-criticised launch, that was originally scheduled for as early as this week, with analysts saying the postponement could be due to technical problems.

Scientists were "now seriously examining the issue of readjusting the launching time of the satellite for some reasons", the Korean Committee of Space Technology said in a statement carried by state media.

Analysts said technical problems or snow, rather than overseas political pressure, are likely to be behind the delay in what the North calls a satellite launch, originally scheduled for between December 10 and 22.

The United States, and allies South Korea and Japan, say Pyongyang was planning a disguised ballistic missile test that violates UN resolutions triggered by its two nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009.

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