North Korea

North Korea's Satellite Orbits, But Isn't Working

Sometimes, just getting there isn't enough

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A SATELLITE launched with fanfare last week by a defiant North Korea appears to be dead as no signal can be detected, a US-based astrophysicist who monitors spaceflights says.

The United States and its Asian allies have acknowledged that North Korea succeeded on Wednesday in putting an object into orbit that the communist state said was observing the Earth and airing patriotic songs.

Jonathan McDowell, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics, says the satellite is clearly in orbit but that no songs can be heard. "To the best of our knowledge, the satellite isn't operating," he said.

"It's definitely up there and it's whizzing around, but it's just not feeling very well."