North Korea has been the country of greatest concern when it comes to unannounced missile launches. Back in the day, they would advise ICAO of their plans, and a couple of fairly specific Notams could be issued to keep crews and airplanes away from the hot spots.
They stopped doing that for every launch a few years back – and now, there’s pretty much zero warning. On safeairspace.net, North Korea is still listed as Level 1 – Do Not Fly, primarily for this reason. Since most DPRK launches end in failure, the tracking of the missiles is anything but controlled. And therefore we worry.
This week, we’ve seen images from a Cargolux 747 enroute Hong Kong to Baku, whose crew encountered an unannounced test launch of a Chinese ballistic missile, with some amazing photos.
The route of flight, and location of the launch, can be seen here:
The full gallery can be seen at this blog.