North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command officials acknowledged today that North Korea launched a Taepo Dong 2 missile at 10:30 p.m. EDT Saturday which passed over the Sea of Japan/East Sea and the nation of Japan.Stage one of the missile fell into the Sea of Japan/East Sea. The remaining stages along with the payload itself landed in the Pacific Ocean.Sounds like the second stage never separated -or ignited- giving the birdie about as much thrust as a slab of granite. Hence the splish-splash just east of Japan. No doubt if we were the shooters, we'd call it a catastrophic success. Bureaucracy!I'm sure the only people more disappointed than the Nork regime are our friendly neighborhood MDA suits, who were counting on the launch to calibrate their radars and to remain relevant.Quote of the day, from the most righteous Arms Control Wonk blog: Oh-for-three. These guys really suck.--John Noonan
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