Any launch attempt raises the specter of failure, Pinkston said, but "they call it rocket science because ... it's hard. Everyone makes mistakes ... but every time you test, you get to go back and work on those problems and fix them."
Baek Seung-joo, an analyst at the state-run Korea Institute for Defense Analyses in South Korea, said past failure could actually be a spur to try again.
"North Korea needs to redeem its embarrassing rocket failure in April," he said.
AP writer Sam Kim contributed to this report from Seoul.
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