Air crew saw North Korea missile re-enter atmosphere

06 December, 2017, 00:34 | Author: Brian Mcdaniel
  • Missile launch

North Korean state media condemned the exercise, saying the US was "begging for nuclear war" and will push the region "to the brink of nuclear war", the BBC reported.

Cathay Pacific General Manager Mark Hoey sent a statement to the staff stating "today the crew of CX893 reported, 'Be advised, we witnessed the [North Korean] missile blow up and fall apart near our current location, '" according to the South China Morning Post.

After the missile reached its zenith some 2,780 miles (4,475 km) above Earth-over ten times higher than the International Space Station-it came down in a blaze, which a senior Cathay Pacific executive said was observed by the flight crew, according to the South China Morning Post.

Cathay said in a statement that it had been in contact with relevant authorities, industry bodies and other airlines about what was seen from Cathay flight 893, and at the moment there were no plans to change flight routes.

The AP reported the missile was in the air for almost an hour and reached an altitude of 2,780 miles before plummeting into the Sea of Japan about 600 miles from its launch point.

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

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"Though the flight was far from the event location, the crew advised Japan ATC (Air Traffic Control) according to procedures". "We remain alert and (will) review the situation as it evolves".

While Cathay Pacific's flight last week wasn't impacted, and there is generally a low chance that a North Korean missile will hit a plane, experts say Pyongyang's missile tests could still endanger future commercial flights.

A Japanese daily reported Tuesday that Japan will overhaul its missile intercept system starting next year to cope with advancements in North Korea's weapons technology such as faster-descending missiles launched at steeper trajectories.

Flight trackers place the plane close to Japan around the time of North Korea's Hwasong-15 missile test on November 29. Most media outlets have adopted North Korea's preferred "Hwasong-15" designation for the system, noting that it's definitely much larger and seems capable of significantly longer flight times than its predecessor.

While few believe the regime's program is complete, the threat posed by the new missile is significant, warned United States Defense Secretary Gen. Jim Mattis.

The airline said at the time that it was expanding its no-fly zone over North Korea following the close-call.

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