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    Next satellite launch delayed

    They haven’t ironed out all the kinks in Japan’s spy satellite program:

    Japan has postponed the launch of a third spy satellite intended to keep an eye on communist North Korea for at least six months due to a technical glitch, a report said Thursday.

    Japan launched two spy satellites in March 2003 amid concerns about the security threat posed by North Korea, which claims to have nuclear weapons.

    The third was set to be launched this fiscal year, which ends in March 2006, but a government committee postponed it because of a computer chip problem. At least six months are needed to replace the chips and test new ones, Kyodo News agency said. Officials were unavailable to confirm the report late Thursday.

    Critics say sending spy satellites into space goes against a long-standing Japanese policy of conducting only nonmilitary space missions.

    Yes, it does, but that just means it goes against a long-standing Japanese policy of mistaking sub-standard defense for saintly non-aggression. No harm in changing that.

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