Plane flew past area where North Korea’s missile test would land under 10 minutes later
ipopba/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — A U.S. official confirms that a commercial airliner flew past the location where North Korea’s latest ICBM would land in the Sea of Japan less than ten minutes later.
Flight data from the time of the ICBM’s landing on Friday indicates that the aircraft potentially in danger was Air France flight 293, traveling from Tokyo to Paris with 323 people on board.
The plane’s flight path shows the Boeing 777 traveling west of Hokkaido as the North Korean ICBM was airborne.
The Japanese Defense Ministry said the ICBM landed about 93 miles northwest of Okushiri Island.
In the ten minutes before the ICBM hit the water, the Air France flight had only traveled about 90 miles north.
In a statement to ABC News, Air France said North Korea’s missile test zones “don’t interfere in any way with Air France’s flight paths,” and that the flight was operated “without any reported incident.”
“Moreover, in cooperation with the authorities, Air France constantly analyzes potentially dangerous flyover zones and adapts its flight plans accordingly,” the statement continued.
But the Pentagon has already expressed concern over the potential danger a missile could pose to commercial aircraft in the region.
“This missile flew through busy airspace used by commercial airliners,” said Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis after North Korea’s July 4th ICBM test. “It flew into space. It landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone, and an area that’s used by commercial and fishing vessels. All of this completely uncoordinated.”
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