News

Philippines Announces Precautionary Measures Ahead of North Korean Rocket Launch

Simone Orendain

The Philippines is announcing precautions for airlines and ships to avoid falling debris from North Korea’s expected rocket launch, due in the next few days. North Korean officials say the first stage will fall into the sea about 160 kilometers from the Philippines, but past North Korean launches have been notoriously inaccurate.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines is rerouting some flights in anticipation of the launch that North Korea says will put a weather satellite in orbit.

Defense leaders from several governments estimate that debris from the three-stage launch could fall to earth along the rocket’s southern trajectory.

Aviation Authority Spokeswoman Joy Songsong says planes will not be allowed to pass through three lanes in the skies northeast of the country from 5:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. from April 12 - 16.

“Part of the approximately 20 flights that will be affected daily would be international flights using the Philippine airways to get to their destinations,” Songsong said.

She says the aviation office asked the Philippines’ two main carriers and airlines from Japan, Korea and other countries to make the adjustments. She says rerouting will add 10 minutes to flights connecting Manila with the United States, Japan and South Korea and affect other routes to and from some Southeast Asian destinations.  



Philippine territory is very near the projected drop of the third phase of the launch.  This prompted the Office of Civil Defense to order the no-passing zone, which includes the air and waters off the country’s northeast coast.

Civil Defense Administrator Benito Ramos says North Korea has provided the expected coordinates of the rocket’s path and authorities are using them in their alerts.

“We make sure that no fisherman, no aircraft, no ship will be crossing in that area so that we expect zero casualties in the event that there will be fallout,” Ramos said.

Defense officials have expressed concern the launch may follow an unexpected trajectory and the rocket could come apart, falling to earth in unplanned locations.

Ramos says a piece falling with a two degree or even just one degree difference from its projected coordinates would put the entire northern island of Luzon in harm’s way.  

He says the Philippines would not be in a position to shoot down any missile, but he is confident the country will have help.

“I feel reassured because of the capabilities of these countries like your country - U.S., we have the U.S. military base in Okinawa. We have also Japan and South Korea," Ramos said.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino’s spokesman said in a news briefing Tuesday that the country is preparing for the worst, but hoping for the best.

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: NVO
April 10, 2012 6:31 AM
More than likely will NOT clear the launch pad with their Wiley Coyote Acme rocket. SHAM!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs