N. Korea rocket launch 'a bare operation'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 12 2012 11:57 PM | Updated as of Apr 13 2012 10:27 AM

MANILA, Philippines – The nerve center of North Korea's rocket launch operation was described by CNN correspondent Stan Grant as “bare.”

“It was a very bare operation, maybe about a dozen tables, and some people sitting at those tables with monitors,” Grant told ANC’s “The World Tonight” on Thursday.

Grant, who is in North Korea to cover the launch, said that according to an independent space analyst he interviewed, the set-up at the nerve center “was sufficient to achieve that task.”

“So while it didn’t look particularly busy or large center it is appropriate for that particular task,” said Grant.

North Korea said around 150 to 200 foreign journalists have been invited to watch the rocket launch and the weekend commemorations.

A large television screen has also been installed at a media center in Pyongyang to show live footage of the rocket launch.

North Korea’s plans to launch its 100-foot rocket were delayed on Thursday due to bad weather.

Grant said there is a possibility that the launch will again be postponed tomorrow because of rains.

“They gave several days as options to choose the best time to achieve this with success. It’s always going to a movable option within those days. Now there is some forecast rain tomorrow so that may be a factor in causing yet another delay,” he said.

He noted, however, that all the preparations to launch the rocket are in place.

The rocket launch operation has raised controversy as several countries, including the United States, believe that the launch is a “thinly veiled ballistic missile test.”

North Korea has denied this, saying that the rocket will place a satellite in orbit for peaceful research purposes.

North Korea’s 5-day window for the launch ends on April 16. -- With a report from Agence France-Presse