Norks launch missile
The BBC article has a map showing the polar launch trajectory.
Isolated and starving impoverished North Korea has launched its second long-range rocket of 2012 in what it said was a bid to put a satellite into space. The North launched the rocket close to the first anniversary of the death of former leader Kim Jong-il and as elections loom in South Korea and Japan.

The launch, reported by South Korean media, was confirmed by South Korea's Defence Ministry.

The latest launch comes after a failed attempt in April that fizzled less than two minutes after blast-off.

Japan and South Korea put their armed forces on alert prior to the launch. The rocket is scheduled to pass between the Korean peninsula and China, with a second stage splashing down off the Philippines before launching the satellite into orbit.

Most political analysts believe the launch is designed to bolster the credentials of new leader Pudgy Kim Jong-un as he cements his rule over the country of 22 million people.
Exactly how that works in a country of starving people I'm not sure...
Plans for the launch has drawn criticism from South Korea, Russia, Japan and the United States as well as NATO and the United Nations. The North's only major diplomatic ally, China, has expressed "deep concern" over the launch but is thought unlikely to back any further sanctions against its ally.
Posted by: Steve White 2012-12-12