Latest Missile Fired from North Korea Seen by Airline Crew
By Faith Magbanua, December 05, 2017 05:12 AM
The crew on board a Cathay Pacific plane flying over Japan last week has reported what seems to be a suspected sighting of last week's North Korean missile test.
Prior to the report, the airline company "Cathay Pacific" has confirmed to that one of its crew members have witnessed "what is suspected to be the re-entry" of the missile into the earth's atmosphere.
On November 29, North Korea tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile which they said could reach anywhere in the US.
The test launch immediately heightened tension further with South Korea and the US, who, on Monday, began their largest ever joint air exercise, which the North has branded as an "all-out provocation".
The missile is described by Pyongyang as its "most powerful" projectile, the November 29 launch have ended up in Japanese waters. However, what alarms people is that it flew higher than any other missile the North had previously tested.
According to the South China Morning Post, Cathay's general manager of operations Mark Hoey told staff in a message that "today, the crew of CX893 reported, 'Be advised, we witnessed the DPRK missile blow up and fall apart near our current location'".
To add to the testimony from the airline crew, the launch was reportedly also witnessed by two South Korean aircraft en route to Seoul from the US.
Though planes are thought to be safe from missile tests, there is still a small margin of risk that still remains.
Unlike other countries, North Korea usually does not announce its missile tests which means they come without warning or no known flight path, posing a potential risk to planes.
Furthermore, Pyongyang does have access to international civil aviation data so it can study the airspace before any launch.
However, given the status that the risk of an incident still remains very low, it is something that airlines are taking into consideration. Earlier this August, Air France expanded their no-fly zone around North Korea after one of its planes flew close to a North Korean missile path.
Meanwhile, Monday's air exercise between the US and South Korea, called Vigilant Ace, will last for five days.
North Korea has condemned the drills, saying over the weekend that the US was "begging for nuclear war" and that it would "seriously consider" counter-measures to the exercises.
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