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Ban on ships, planes during North Korea rocket launch

Authorities order travel ban on ships and planes ahead of North Korea's expected rocket launch

Gulf News

Manila: Philippine authorities ordered ships and planes to avoid eastern parts of the country during North Korea's rocket launch from April 12 to 16, sources said.

Planes coming to and leaving the Philippines with usual flight paths from Japan and South Korea will not be allowed so that they would not be affected by debris that might damage them during the firing of North Korea's rocket into orbit, said Joy Songsong, spokesperson of Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), said in a radio interview.

"We have provided alternate routes for exiting and incoming planes on these days," said Songsong, adding that CAAP has released the notice to pilots regarding the change of flight paths this week to avoid air accidents.

CAAP has already determined the flight paths that would be affected by the dangerous debris of North Korea's rocket launch, said Songsong, but did not identify the safe flight path along the Philippines eastern flank.

Several flights would be affected by this plan, said Songsong, without giving details.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Coast Guard also issued a warning that ferry boats would not be allowed to sail during the same period, at the Pacific Ocean, the eastern seaboard of the Philippines.

The Philippines raised its concern over North Korea's rocket launch, during the leaders' summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) in Cambodia.

Asean is expected to make a formal statement to pressure North Korea from putting off the rocket launch.

The Philippines has asked the United States, its ally, to track down the path of North Korea's rocket launch, following reports from Pyongyang that it would initially affect the Yellow Sea near South Korea and Japan, and its debris would later affect Indonesia, Philippines, and Australia, from the Pacific Ocean.