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North Korean rocket flew further than earlier thought

New details emerging from the analysis of data from North Korea's April 5 Taepo-Dong-2 test indicate the vehicle flew successfully several hundred miles further than previously believed and used more advanced steering than has been demonstrated by the North Korean's before.
The rocket impacted as far as 2,390 miles from the launch site as opposed to about 1,900 miles as earlier announced by the U. S. and Japan.

It also temporarily flew in space before failing and dropping back into the atmosphere at relatively slow speed that enabled debris to survive till impact rather than burning up.
The updated analysis indicates the failure occurred when the solid propellant third stage of the vehicle failed to separate properly after the second stage fired normally. After burnout the second stage coasted upward into space where the third stage was supposed to separate and fire, but did not.
Earlier it was believed that the second stage had failed early in its burn.
The rocket also demonstrated more advanced steering and other advances that could enhance its deployment as a silo-based ballistic missile.
The Japanese Ministry of Defense and U.S. Defense Dept. now believe that the second stage of the rocket performed as planned rather than failing early in its flight phase.

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