N.Korean missile deployed object that appeared to reach orbit -NORAD

WASHINGTON Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:29pm EST

WASHINGTON Dec 11 (Reuters) - U.S. missile-warning systems detected the launch of a North Korean rocket on Tuesday, and initial indications are that the missile deployed an object that appeared to achieve orbit, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, said.

The launch was detected at 7:49 p.m. EST (0049 GMT Wednesday) and the rocket was tracked on a southerly course, with the first stage falling into the Yellow Sea and the second stage falling into the Philippine Sea.

"Initial indications are that the missile deployed an object that appeared to achieve orbit," NORAD said in a statement. "At no time was the missile or the resultant debris a threat to North America."

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