Seven North Korean missile test firings this year threatened commercial jets flying through an impact zone in the Sea of Japan that aviation analysts say poses a growing danger to civilian aircraft.
North Korea’s first two long-range missile tests in July were among the six rockets that passed through Japanese airspace, and one of them landed very close to an Air France jetliner on July 28, according to a report by the Flight Service Bureau, a private aircraft operations service.
“The regularity and range of the launches are increasing,” the report said. “In 2015, there were 15 launches in total, of short-range ballistic and sub-launched missiles. In 2016, there were 24 launches, almost all being medium-range. In 2017, there have been 18 so far, with the first long-range missiles.”
International aviation companies last year sought to minimize the risk to commercial jets by flying away from the Pyongyang flight information region.