In a transparent ploy to legitimize their upcoming "space launch," the North Koreans submitted plans of their ballistic missile launch to UN aviation and maritime agencies yesterday. More details emerge today as the UN's International Civil Aviation Organization releases its warning to aviators:
In a letter to ICAO earlier this week, the North said the launch would take place between April 4-8 and between 11:00 a.m. and 4.p.m. (KST), it added.
Of the two potential danger areas identified, one is in waters close to Japan's northeastern area and the other is in the East Sea, according to a map released by ICAO. The map appears to show that if successful, a multi-stage rocket would fly over Japan after shedding its first booster in the East Sea.
Digging further, I found the ICAO news release (PDF) which includes the coordinates of the two danger areas where the North Korean missile will drop its booster stages and created this map:
Connecting the dots between the launch site (orange triangle) and the two danger zones where the two stages will splash (red triangles), we can see where the missle could head --- again, according to the North Koreans themselves:
They indeed plan to overfly Japan, shedding the first booster in the Sea of Japan.
Depending on the range of the missile, the trajectory is making a bee-line for Hawaii.
Daily Yomiuri (Japan): Launch sends officials rushing into action / Air traffic, maritime vessels quickly advised of missile firing (Confirms fall of first stage in area indicated by NK flight plan)Detailed civil avaition map: http://www.icao.int/icao/en/nr/2009/pio200902_e.pdf
NHK World English: Japan's gov't trying to gather information (includes map of trajectory) ,
NHK World English: N.Korea announces successful launch of satelite
North Korea says it lifted off an Unha-2 rocket at 11:20 local time on Sunday morning, and experimental communications satellite Kwangmyongsong-2 was successfully put into orbit 9 minutes later....The country says the satellite is on the right track and transmitting to the earth songs hailing its founder Kim Il Sung and his son, Kim Jong Il, the current leader, at a frequency of 470 megahertz.
It explained that the launched projectile was a three-stage rocket....
NORAD: NORAD and USNORTHCOM monitor North Korean launch
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command officials acknowledged today that North Korea launched a Taepo Dong 2 missile at 10:30 p.m. EDT Saturday which passed over the Sea of Japan/East Sea and the nation of Japan.
Stage one of the missile fell into the Sea of Japan/East Sea. The remaining stages along with the payload itself landed in the Pacific Ocean.
No object entered orbit and no debris fell on Japan.
NORAD and USNORTHCOM assessed the space launch vehicle as not a threat to North America or Hawaii and took no action in response to this launch.
This is all of the information that will be provided by NORAD and USNORTHCOM pertaining to the launch.
AP: A high-ranking White House official, who is in Prague with U.S. President Barack Obama, told Kyodo News it appears that North Korea's rocket launch might have failed because there are no signs that any parts of the rocket, including its payload, have been put into orbit. The official said it is possible that the payload fell into the Pacific Ocean.
ABC: According to the statement, the "space launch vehicle" was not seen as "a threat to North America or Hawaii" and the United States "took no action in response to this launch."
Korea Times: NK Satellite Fails to Enter Orbit
Free North Korea from socialist slavery: http://ncafe.com/northkorea/ , http://freekorea.us/
SPECULATION: Due to low quality socialist engineering, stage three failed to ignite and fell into the ocean near the point where stage two was scheduled to fall away. That would put it half-way between Japan and Hawaii and would fit the NORAD statement and the North Korean "9 minutes" at which point their "satellite' would have risen above the coverage of ground radar (or fallen below it).
Time to call in the Glomar Explorer....