China voices "deep concern" to N. Korea over plane near-miss

BEIJING Fri Mar 7, 2014 6:10pm IST

Stocks

   

BEIJING (Reuters) - China has expressed its "deep concern" to North Korea after a Chinese airplane crossed the path of a rocket launched by the isolated state, China's foreign ministry said on Friday.

On Thursday, South Korea's defence ministry said a Chinese civilian plane had "passed as the ballistic missile (from North Korea) was in the course of descending".

The plane was flying from Tokyo's Narita airport to the northeastern Chinese city of Shenyang on Tuesday, the ministry said.

"On this issue, we have already contacted the North Korean side to convey our deep concern," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a daily news briefing.

China is North Korea's most important diplomatic and economic supporter, though Beijing's patience with Pyongyang has been severely tested following three nuclear tests and numerous bouts of saber rattling, including missile launches.

On Thursday, Qin had said the Chinese airplane was unaffected and urged Pyongyang to ensure the safety of civilian aircraft.

Media reports had identified the Chinese airplane as a China Southern Airlines (600029.SS) flight.

Company chairman Si Xianmin confirmed to Reuters that one of his firm's planes intersected the trajectory of the North Korean missile.

"The report is true, but the missile was far away from the plane -- it was six minutes away and I don't know how many kilometres away in terms of altitude," Si told Reuters.

A spokeswoman from the Civil Aviation Administration of China told Reuters on Thursday that she had read the reports but had no knowledge of the incident, adding that the agency had not been contacted by China Southern Airlines.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Fang Yan in BEIJING and Jack Kim in SEOUL; Writing by Sui-Lee Wee; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

TALIBAN ATTACKS

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Hong Kong Protests

Hong Kong Protests

Hong Kong protests approach potential National Day flashpoint.  Full Article 

Seeking Reassurance

Seeking Reassurance

Amid differences, Israel's Netanyahu to seek reassurances from Obama on Iran.  Full Article 

Ebola in U.S.

Ebola in U.S.

Traveler from Liberia is first Ebola patient diagnosed in U.S  Full Article 

Fighting IS

Fighting IS

Australian aircraft to support U.S.-led air strikes in Iraq - PM.  Full Article 

Frustrated PM

Frustrated PM

Turkey, frustrated with West, clings to fading vision for the Middle East.  Full Article 

Indonesia Politics

Indonesia Politics

President manages hopes as hostile parliament convenes  Full Article 

Security Breach

Security Breach

U.S. lawmakers rebuke Secret Service over White House breach  Full Article 

Palestinian Occupation

Palestinian Occupation

Jewish settlers occupy Palestinian homes in Old City's shadow  Full Article 

Ebola Chronology

Ebola Chronology

Worst Ebola outbreak on record tests global response  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage