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NORAD: NKorea appears to have orbited 'an object'

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December 11, 2012 11:30 PM EST | AP


WASHINGTON — The North American Aerospace Defense Command says North Korea appears to have launched "an object" into Earth orbit, but neither the missile used nor debris from the launch are a threat to North America.

NORAD officials said U.S. missile warning systems detected and tracked the launch at 7:49 p.m. EST Tuesday. The missile was tracked in a southerly direction.

NORAD said initial indications were that the first stage of the rocket fell into the Yellow Sea and that the second stage fell into the Philippine Sea.

Quoting a NORAD news release: "Initial indications are that the missile deployed an object that appeared to achieve orbit. At no time was the missile or the resultant debris a threat to North America."

NORAD is based at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado.