Airline Crew Says They Saw North Korean Test Missile Re-Enter Atmosphere

No route changes after 3 flight crews report flash of light during N. Korea ICBM test

Since July, Singapore Airlines has altered the route of its daily flights between the South Korean capital of Seoul and Los Angeles because of North Korean missile tests. It hadn't previously announced the change.

North Korea tested its new Hwasong-15 (KN-22) intercontinental ballistic missile before dawn last Tuesday, but while the launch came as a surprise for many, the USA intelligence saw it coming.

The crew of the Cathay Pacific Airways flight says they witnessed the rogue nation's latest weapon break apart and explode as it traveled through the sky early Wednesday morning on November 29.

The missile soared 2,800 miles into space without any apparent issue, but it is unclear how the weapon performed during atmospheric re-entry, as views within the intelligence community appear to vary.

In August, Air France-KLM expanded its no-fly zone around North Korea after a missile test. Korean Air hasn't specified how close its flight was to the missile.

Cathay said there was no current plan to change air routes, saying its plane was "far from the event location".

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"We do take the matter seriously and are monitoring the situation very closely and will reroute our flight paths where necessary", a Cathay Pacific spokesperson added.

Korean Air didn't provide details of theflights that saw the "flash", or say where they were at the time of the event.

Flight 893 was en route from San Francisco to Hong Kong when the crew saw what it believes to be a North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile re-enter the Earth's atmosphere, break up, and fall out of the sky.

Under the guidelines of the International Civil Aviation Organization-a United Nations agency that oversees air safety-nations launching threats to air safety must "issue risk advisories regarding any threats to the safety of civilian aircraft operating in their airspace". Prior to last week's ballistic missile launch, the US spotted North Korea's military making preparations.

The chances of a plane being struck randomly by a missile are "billions to one", according to CNN aviation safety analyst David Soucie.

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