A Chinese passenger plane had a fairly close brush with a North Korean rocket fired on Tuesday, the Defense Ministry here said Wednesday.
"A very dangerous situation" arose when China Southern Airlines flight CZ628 passed through the trajectory of a rocket the North launched without warning to civilian planes, the ministry said.
The passenger plane, which was headed to Shenyang from Japan's Narita Airport, passed the area at 4:24 p.m. The North fired the missile at 4:17 p.m., a ministry official said.
Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said, "Such a provocation by the North poses a serious threat to international flights and the safety of civilians."
The Chinese plane flew in a northwesterly direction about 86 km from the trajectory some six minutes after the missile flew in a northeasterly direction. The plane flew at an altitude of 10 km and the missile of 20 km. The Airbus 321 aircraft was carrying 220 passengers and crew.
The ministry notified the Chinese Embassy's military attaché of this fact.