North Korea

Risk Level: Two - Danger exists

[ about risk levels ]
Following talks with the U.S. in early 2018, North Korea agreed with ICAO that it would provide adequate warning of all “activity hazardous to aviation" within its airspace.

However, in May 2019 North Korea resumed launching missiles into the Sea of Japan, without providing any warning by Notam.

The US continues to prohibit flights across all North Korean airspace, including the oceanic part of the ZKKP/Pyongyang FIR over the Sea of Japan. Several other countries have airspace warnings in place which advise caution due to the risk posed by unannounced rocket launches.

Current warnings list :

Source Reference Issued Valid to
France AIC 02/21 11 Feb 2021 Ongoing
Canada AIC 16/21 09 Feb 2021 Ongoing
USA SFAR 79 07 Sep 2020 18 Sep 2023
Germany AIC 10/21 19 Dec 2019 Ongoing
UK UK AIP ENR 1.1 (1.4.5) 08 Oct 2015 Ongoing
Source: France
Reference: AIC 02/21
Issued: 11-Feb-21, valid until: Ongoing
Plain English: Caution advised for all North Korea overflights, especially in the maritime part over the Sea of Japan (due to unannounced rocket launches)
From 09/04/2020 and until further notice, French air carriers and aircraft owners registered in France are requested to exercise particular caution during flight operations in the airspace of North Korea (ZKKP FIR (PYONGYANG)), especially its maritime part.
Source: Canada
Reference: AIC 16/21
Issued: 09-Feb-21, valid until: Ongoing
Plain English: Exercise caution in the airspace of North Korea due to risk posed by unannounced rocket launches.
Level 1 (Information)
As of February 9, 2021, and until further notice, Canadian Air Operators and owners of aircraft registered in Canada are advised to exercise extreme caution in the airspace of North Korea (FIR Pyongyang (ZKKP)), due to the potential risk to aviation from ballistic missile launches without prior notice.
Source: USA
Reference: SFAR 79
Issued: 07-Sep-20, valid until: 18 Sep 2023
Plain English: Flights are prohibited in all North Korean airspace, including the oceanic part of the ZKKP/Pyongyang FIR over the Sea of Japan, due to the threat posed by unannounced North Korean missile launches and air defense weapons systems.
On November 3, 2017, the FAA issued KICZ Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) A0023/17, prohibiting U.S. civil aviation operations in the entire Pyongyang FIR (ZKKP) due to the hazardous situation created by North Korean military capabilities and activities, including unannounced North Korean missile launches and air defense weapons systems. This amendment to SFAR No. 79 incorporates the November 3, 2017 NOTAM's expanded flight prohibition into the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). The FAA finds this action necessary due to continued hazards to U.S. civil aviation operations in the entire Pyongyang FIR (ZKKP).
Source: Germany
Reference: AIC 10/21
Issued: 19-Dec-19, valid until: Ongoing
Plain English: There is a potential risk to overflights of North Korean airspace (ZKKP FIR) due to launching of test missiles without prior notice.
Level 1 (lowest risk). Hazardous situation in North-Korea. Civil German air operators are advised to take potential risk into account in their risk assessment and routing decisions within FIR PYONGYANG (ZKKP). Potential risk to aviation from ground to ground ballistic weaponry test firings without prior notice.
Source: UK
Issued: 08-Oct-15, valid until: Ongoing
Plain English: There is a risk to aircraft overflying ZKKP/Pyongyang FIR, and the Sea of Japan (due to unannounced rocket launches).
Hazardous Situation in North Korea

Potential risk to aviation overflying the territory of North Korea, the Pyongyang Flight Information Region and the Sea of Japan (defined for this purpose as the area lying between 1280000E and 1400000E degrees of longitude) due to continuing but unannounced testing of a range of surface-to-surface missiles.

Operators are advised to take this information into account in their own risk assessments and routing decisions.