South Korea said Monday that it plans to reroute passenger flights over the Yellow Sea to avoid possible collisions with debris from a long-range rocket that North Korea plans to launch this month.
The ministry of land, transport and maritime affairs said it made the decision after learning that North Korea had informed China and Singapore of the flight path and other details of the launch.
North Korea told those nations the rocket would be launched in the morning hours and that its debris would fall into the Yellow Sea and in waters east of the Philippines.
Separately on Monday, Russia and China urged North Korea not to go ahead with a plan for its second rocket launch of 2012, Reuters reported. Russia said any such move would violate restrictions imposed by the UN Security Council.
"We urgently appeal to the government (of North Korea) to reconsider the decision to launch a rocket," the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement.
China was less direct, in its criticism, but urged "all sides" not to take any action that "worsens the problem," Reuters reported.
The International Maritime Organization said Monday that North Korea had informed it that it planned to launch a satellite between Dec. 10 and Dec. 22 during the hours of 7 a.m and noon. The North provided a list of dangerous co-ordinates where debris could fall.
South Korean officials said they will reroute six Korean Air flights. They also are considering whether to reroute or change the departure times of several Korean Air and Asiana Airlines flights to Manila.