North Korea's threatened rocket launch has rerouted about 20 flights around the Philippines and closed three air corridors from Thursday to Monday as the region braces, reports the AP. North Korea said it chose a southerly path for the launch so that debris would not affect its neighbors, with the rocket's first phase scheduled to land in the Yellow Sea between China and South Korea, and the second phase set for 90 miles east of the Philippine island Luzon. But airlines aren't taking any chances, and are packing extra fuel in case a detour is needed to avoid the area entirely. The launch is dependent on the weather.
Pyongyang officials say the missile is all ready to go, as part of the country's centennial celebrations of the birth of founder Kim Il Sung, writes the AP. The North awarded 640 people with medals and prizes as part of celebrations, according to South Korea's Yonhap News. But White House officials cautioned the media not to get too sucked in to North Korea's provocations, reports Politico. “You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know this is a propaganda exercise,” said the National Security Council spokesman. “Reporters have to be careful not to get co-opted.”