World Airline crew 'saw North Korea missile'

13:36  04 december  2017
13:36  04 december  2017 Source:   bbc.com

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Crew members aboard a 15-hour flight were startled last week when they saw what is believed to be the re-entry of a North Korean missile into earth’s atmosphere. Flight trackers place the plane close to Japan around the time of North Korea ’s Hwasong-15 missile test on Nov.

CBS Local — An airline crew traveling from San Francisco to Hong Kong claim they had a chilling, front-row seat to North Korea ’s latest missile test over the Sea of Despite the missile being close enough to be seen by the pilots, the airline is not planning to change its flying routes at the moment.

Cathay Pacific aircraft: Though planes are thought to be safe from missile tests, a small risk remains © AFP Though planes are thought to be safe from missile tests, a small risk remains Crew on board a Cathay Pacific plane flying over Japan reported a suspected sighting of last week's North Korean missile test, the airline said.

The company confirmed to the BBC that crew witnessed "what is suspected to be the re-entry" of the missile into the earth's atmosphere.

It added that as things stand no flight routes were being modified.

On 29 November North Korea tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile it said could reach anywhere in the US.

Described by Pyongyang as its "most powerful" missile, it ended up in Japanese waters but flew higher than any other the North had previously tested.

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North Korea missile tests. Image copyright AFP/KCNA. Image caption The rocket is thought to have exploded on re-entry into the atmosphere. Crew on board a Cathay Pacific plane flying over Japan reported a suspected sighting of last week's North Korean missile test, the airline said.

Crew on board a Cathay Pacific flight from San Francisco to Hong Kong saw what they believed was a North Korean ballistic missile re-entering the earth's atmosphere, the airline said Monday.

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'".

This photo taken on 29 November 2017 and released on November 30, 2017 by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) shows launching of the Hwasong-15 missile which is capable of reaching all parts of the US.: The rocket is thought to have exploded on re-entry into the atmosphere © AFP/KCNA The rocket is thought to have exploded on re-entry into the atmosphere The launch was reportedly also witnessed by two South Korean aircraft en route to Seoul from the US.

Unlike other countries, North Korea usually does not announce its missile tests which means they come without warning or known flight path, posing a potential risk to planes.

Pyongyang does have access to international civil aviation data so it can study the airspace before any launch.

While the risk of an incident remains very low, it is something that airlines are taking into consideration. In early August, Air France expanded their no-fly zone around North Korea after it transpired one of its planes flew close to a North Korean missile path.

White House says not right time for N. Korea talks, despite Tillerson overture .
No negotiations can be held with North Korea until it improves its behavior, a White House official said on Wednesday."Given North Korea's most recent missile test, clearly right now is not the time (for negotiations)," the White House National Security Council spokesman told Reuters.

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