North Korean passenger flight takes off 90 minutes after missile launch

North Korean passenger flight takes off 90 minutes after missile launchA North Korean passenger flight took off from Pyongyang's international airport about an hour and a half after an intermediate-range ballistic missile was launched from the area. Air Koryo flight 151 departed the airport for Beijing as scheduled at 8.30am local time. About 90 minutes prior to take-off, a missile flew over Japan after being launched from Sunan, the site of the airport.  The timing would mean passengers would have been at the airport to witness the launch of the missile. “When passengers are flying back to Beijing departing at 8:30 am, we arrange our group to arrive at 7:00 am to check in, go through customs and immigration…(as) the flights can get fairly busy,” Rowan Beard, a tour manager at Young Pioneer Tours, told NK News.  Air Koryo flight from missile launch site @ Pyongyang Sunan Airport is going to arrive at Beijing in about one hour from now— Chad O'Carroll (@chadocl) September 15, 2017 The flight landed in Beijing at 9.50am, 10 minutes ahead of schedule, according to FlightRadar24. South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the missile travelled about 3,700 kilometers (2,300 miles) and reached a maximum height of 770 kilometers (478 miles). It followed a similar launch on August 29 of a relatively untested intermediate-range Hwasong-12 from the runway of the airport.  It did not issue a “Notice to Airmen” (NOTAM) prior to that test, nor before the latest launch, raising fears for aircraft flying along the east of the Korean peninsula or near Japan. This is an incredible photo— Ben Harris-Roxas (@ben_hr) August 30, 2017 North Korea's missile launches have raised concerns for aircraft in the past. In July, a packed Air France jet en route to Tokyo flew past the location where North Korea’s test intercontinental ballistic missile crashed into the Sea of Japan less than ten minutes later, according to a US official cited by ABC news. The airline said it was never in danger but as a precaution Air France-KLM have decided to reroute flights heading north from Japan.

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