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Missile downed Malaysia Airlines jet?

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(by Aaron Klein) -- Just eight days after a terrorist attack in the city of Kunming dubbed “China’s September 11th,” a Malaysia Airlines flight carrying mostly Chinese passengers disappeared over the South China Sea.

While the international probe is in its early stages and questions are being raised about the prospect of terrorism, investigators would be wise to thoroughly examine the possibility of a missile attack in light of recent information about the global proliferation of such projectiles capable of downing civilian airliners.

Further, China has issued a series of warnings about North Korean missiles, including one that crossed paths with a Chinese airliner carrying 220 people just last week. 

On Friday, China complained to North Korea when one of its missiles crossed paths with a civilian jet last Tuesday that had departed Tokyo’s Narita airport en route to the northeastern Chinese city of Shenyang.

One day earlier, South Korea’s defense ministry released a statement saying the Chinese civilian plane had “passed as the ballistic missile (from North Korea) was in the course of descending.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters, “On this issue, we have already contacted the North Korean side to convey our deep concern.”

“If any country is to hold training or exercises, it should take measures in accordance with international practice to ensure the safety of civil [facilities] in relevant airspace and maritime space,” said Qin.

Qin said the jet was flying over international waters at an altitude of 10,000 meters, or 32,800 feet.

“The rocket could have hit the plane on its way down,” he said. “North Korea had not given any warning. It was an unexpected and immoral act that goes against international norms.”

One week earlier, North Korea reportedly test-fired two short range missiles into the sea. 

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