A Chinese passenger jet passed through the trajectory of a rocket fired by North Korea seven minutes earlier over international waters on Tuesday.
China Southern Airlines flight CZ628 took off from Japan’s Narita Airport and was heading for Shenyang in Liaoning Province at an altitude of nearly 33,000 feet when the incident happened. It was carrying 220 passengers.
“The rocket could have hit the plane on its way down,” said South Korean defense ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok, according to Bloomberg. “North Korea had not given any warning. It was an unexpected and immoral act that goes against international norms.”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said at a briefing: “We urge all relevant parties to exercise restraint, keep calm and be discreet in words and deeds so as to avoid progressive escalation of tension,” the Wall Street Journal reported.
North Korea has fired multiple short-range missiles into the sea since South Korea and the United States began their annual military drills on Feb. 24. According to the South Korean defense ministry, several of them traveled over 90 miles, meaning they could have reached Seoul.