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North Korea nuclear crisis

North Korean missile tests threaten civil aviation warns UN

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 07 October, 2017, 4:18pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 07 October, 2017, 7:37pm

The United Nations civil aviation agency on Friday strongly condemned North Korea’s persistent launching of missiles near or over international air routes without prior notice, saying they seriously threaten the safety of international flights.

At a meeting at its headquarters in Montreal, Canada, the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organisation unanimously decided to condemn North Korea, a member of ICAO, and urge it to comply with the international civil aviation convention.

According to US media, an Air France plane flying from Tokyo to Paris in late July flew past an area where a missile splashed into the Sea of Japan off Hokkaido just minutes later.

Near miss: North Korean missile ‘fell just 200km from Japanese coast, closer than ever before’

As North Korea has repeatedly conducted missile tests despite a series of sanctions introduced by the UN, some airlines flying between Japan and Europe have been obliged to alter their routes over the region.

The condemnation adopted by the ICAO council was drafted by Japan, one of the council’s 36 member states, a government official said. Although the document is non-binding, it is aimed at ramping up international pressure on the reclusive country.

ICAO’s 191 members are expected to notify adjacent countries of any activities that could pose a risk to nearby civil aviation routes, including volcanic ash clouds and aerial testing.