Seoul to divert air traffic to avoid North Korean rocket debris

Featured - December 4th, 2012
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South Korea said Monday it would divert air traffic following North Korea’s announcement of the projected flight path of its looming rocket launch.

Pyongyang informed the International Maritime Organization that it plans to launch the rocket between Dec. 10-22 and provided a list of dangerous coordinates where debris could fall, AP reports.

Officials from Seoul said they will re-route passenger flights, including six Korean Air flights, and are considering whether to re-route or change the departure times of several Korean Air and Asiana Airlines flights to Manila. The move, they said, were to avoid possible collisions with debris that could fall into the Yellow Sea or in waters east of the Philippines.

Earlier satellite images showed increased activity at a North Korean launch facility, suggesting a rocket launch was impending. The launch will be North Korea’s second attempt this year following a failed launch in in April. The Korean Committee for Space Technology said the launch was a request of late leader Kim Jong-il and is set to coincide with the commemoration of his death, one year on.

The US believes North Korea is testing long-range missiles in the guise of rockets.