Singapore Airlines reroutes flights to avoid N Korean missiles

Posted December 06, 2017

The Cathay Pacific flight took off from San Francisco and was bound for Hong Kong.

A report from the Yonhap News Agency said the captain of a Korean Air flight approaching South Korea's Incheon Airport from San Francisco reported to ground control that he had seen a flash about one hour after the North Korean missile launched, The Telegraph reported.

The BBC reported at least two other Seoul-bound South Korean aircraft traveling from the USA reported witnessing the missile test.

"Currently, our flight routings do not transverse in the vicinity of the missile trajectory as we have taken earlier steps to avoid the northern part of the Sea of Japan".

A spokesman for Cathay Pacific was reported in the media as saying that the crew "witnessed the DPRK missile blow up and fall apart near our current location".

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North Korea's last missile launch marked a major evolution in the communist country's ballistic missile program.

North Korea, which has access to civil aviation data, does not usually inform other nations about any missile launch and this could be a potential risk to aircraft flying in the region.

Cathay Pacific flight CX893 was making its way over Japan when Pyongyang fired the Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile.

North Korea has developed ballistic missiles powerful enough to reach their intended targets, including those as far away as the continental USA, and nuclear warheads for those weapons, but the North has struggled with re-entry vehicle technology, which ensures that the warhead survives the flight.

The operators insist the missile flew far from the flight's path and at no point posed a threat to the aircraft.

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Defense Secretary Jim Mattis (L) and Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff speak to the press about the situation in North Korea at the White House in Washington, D.C. on September 3, 2017.

According to Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), that is a comment that needs to be taken seriously.

North Korea, which joined the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in 1977, is required to notify the organization of any activity that could threaten the safety of international civil aviation. "The president is not going to allow North Korea to have a nuclear weapon in their hands that can hit America", Graham told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on November 29.

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