December 12th, 2012
12:48 PM ET

U.S.: North Korean missile launch earlier than expected

By Mike Mount

The North Korean rocket launch caught the United States by surprise as it occurred earlier than expected, defense and senior U.S. officials told CNN on Wednesday.

Military and intelligence were on heightened readiness for the launch because of intelligence and that North Korea had announced a window, according to a defense official.

One U.S. official disputed the suggestion that the launch was a surprise saying that, "North Korea's launch occurred during the anticipated window."

But the general belief was that it would happen around Dec. 17, the defense official explained.

That belief was partly due to Pyongyang's statements about extending the window by a week due to technical problems.

The United States had satellite monitoring of the site. The military also had Aegis radar ships  and other monitoring equipment positioned in the region, but mostly to detect the launch and the rocket's trajectory, according to the official.

Blastoff occurred on Wednesday morning from a space center on the North Korean west coast and the rocket apparently delivered a rudimentary communications satellite with limited capability into orbit, the U.S. defense official told CNN.

The satellite is in a Polar orbit meaning it moves between the North and South poles, the official said.

soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Hahahahaha

    Who the hell pushed THAT button!!!! I want answers or you all will go to jail!!!!!! worked? In that are heros! Hahahahahahahahahaha

    December 12, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Reply
  2. Star-Spangled Bullsh!t

    So......our...."intelligence" was........"caught by surprise".

    Yeah. There's a first.

    December 12, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Reply
  3. TheSurvivalGuy

    Reblogged this on thesurvivalplaceblog.

    December 12, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Reply
  4. Tembisa

    Reblogged this on World Chaos.

    December 12, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Reply
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    December 12, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Reply
    • Hahahahaha

      Too bad you still have your fingers!!!!!!!!!! Hahahahahahah

      December 12, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Reply

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