North Korean Missile Threat Has Airlines Skirting Its Airspace

Tensions are running high surrounding the Korean peninsula as North Korea has threatened the safety of civil aircraft in its airspace over the Sea of Japan. In a statement North Korea warned, "Security cannot be guaranteed for South Korean civil airplanes." Fueling the tension is the upcoming joint South Korean-U.S. military exercise, which North Korea views as a preparation for attack. The United States and South Korea maintain the exercise is routine and meant to review defensive procedures. This time, however, nerves are on a tighter string since North Korea is rumored to be planning a test launch of a long-range missile. Singapore Airlines, for its part, has announced it is avoiding North Korean airspace until tensions ease.

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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