Max Q is well understood to occur at about 60 seconds after a launch. According to Western intelligence assets, the top of the rocket began to break up as the NK rocket passed through Max Q, even through the first (and probably second) stage continued to function as designed.
Many of the Apollo astronauts commented on the intense vibrations during Saturn V launches. Alan Bean, the LM pilot on Apollo 12, said he was amazed at how bumpy the ride was: Do the engineers realize how this thing shakes, Bean recalled, because it shakes and vibrates so much more than I'd ever imagined. The difference of course is that the Saturn V held together every time.
(Incidentally: Our source, Charles Vick, worked on the Saturn V program. He believes it should be taken out of mothballs and used again as the primary U.S. "heavy lifter.")
No, this was the third launch in the Unha series. The two previous launches also failed. For an analysis of NK-Iranian collaboration on multistage rockets, see:
(I attempted to link to the above when I first posted the story, but the link, like the North Korean launch, failed during launch. It has been fixed in the story.)
Designing the rockets are always critical task, there are too many sections working together that too for only one event. One this kind of event affects a lot to the development plans of a developing country like North Korea, lets hope they will come with a better applications in Space Technology.
They could bend it around to any orbit they wanted. See:
"Responsive Coverage Using Propellantless Satellites", George E. Pollock, Joseph W. Gangestad, James M. Longuski,
Also: "New Synchronous Orbits Using the Geomagnetic Lorentz Force", Brett Streetman, Mason A. Peck (2007)
Beside the political ramifications, it seems to me that North Korea would be better off expending their resources and energy in ways that would help their people and economy. But I guess dictators don't really care about the people.
It sounds to me like someone was just speculating on the cause. On the other hand, it's also possible that several governments as well as a few very talented amateurs managed to capture telemetry from the rocket and have done a preliminary analysis of that data.
Was this the first time that North Korea developed the third stage of rocket? If they have done this before then what might have gone wrong this time? Another question....is it the first time Iran and North Korea worked together?