South Korea’s plan to join what is turning out to be an Asian space race has suffered a setback.
The launch of a scientific satellite has been postponed because of a glitch in the fire-extinguishing system.
The country has been desperately trying to build a domestic space programme to match those of regional rivals China, India and Japan.
“I hoped it would be successful this time,” said one man waiting to watch the launch on a public TV screen. “I feel a bit sad that the launch couldn’t take place.”
Another man said: “I feel some regret. I hope they can reinstall the facilities and launch successfully next time. I hope the next one turns out well for us.”
This is the second time South Korea has tried to launch a satellite on its own soil. Last August a rocket successfully lifted off, but a technical problem meant the satellite did not go into orbit.