Missile test raises flight safety concerns

Missile test raises flight safety concerns

Channel NewsAsia found out that Singapore Airlines (SIA) has taken steps to reroute its Seoul-Los Angeles flights since July this year, following Pyongyang's July 27 missile launch into the Sea of Japan.

Cathay Pacific (CPCAY) said the crew of a flight from San Francisco to Hong Kong reported seeing what they thought was the missile re-entering Earth's atmosphere on November 29.

North Korea has tested an Intercontinental ballistic missile, which posed no threat to the USA and its allies, said the Pentagon.

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.

Marco Langbroek, a space expert who tracks North Korea's missile program, told CNN he noticed something odd about the stars in images taken from opposite sides of the missile launch.

European airlines Lufthansa and Air France-KLM shifted their paths in August after two North Korean test launches in July.

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Cathay said there was no current plan to change air routes, saying its plane was "far from the event location". "At the moment, no one is changing any routes or operating parameters", Cathay said. "We remain alert and (will) review the situation as it evolves".

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

According to the Committee of chiefs of staffs of armed forces of South Korea, the missile launched from the landfill in the North Korean city of Pinson in the province's toll.

As a member of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the North is obliged to give prior notice of any actions that could threaten the safety of civilian aircraft. Prior to last week's ballistic missile launch, the USA spotted North Korea's military making preparations.

Travelers who are concerned should know the chances of an airplane colliding with a missile are extremely low: One safety analyst estimates that it is less than a billion to one.

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