A Chinese commercial flight with 200 passengers on board came within minutes of being hit by North Korean missiles. The China Southern Airlines flight flew through an area of airspace just five minutes after North Korea launched the rockets into the same area, the Daily Star reports.
South Korea condemned the missile launch, with South Korean Defence Minister spokesman Kim Min-seok calling it “a serious issue of concern”.
“The failure to protect the safety of civilians by issuing an advanced navigational warning according to international norms is a serious threat,” he added.
North Korea defended their actions, with an army spokesman saying that such missile tests are conducted regularly, and that no flights were in danger because the North takes “scrupulous advance security measures for flight orbit and targets in the designated waters”.
The South says that this missile test, and others in previous days, were in retaliation for joint military drills between the U.S. and South Korea, which the North claims are preparations for an invasion.
The BBC also reports that the U.S. has asked the UN Security Council to take “appropriate action” against the North’s missile testing. They say the recent North Korean missile tests “clearly used ballistic missile technology”.
North Korea is forbidden from using ballistic missile programmes under various UN resolutions.