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Airline Pilots Saw North Korean Missile's Re-Entry, Breakup

Image: Airline Pilots Saw North Korean Missile's Re-Entry, Breakup

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By    |   Monday, 04 December 2017 08:50 AM

Airline pilots from three aircrafts saw the North Korean missile that was fired last week re-enter Earth's atmosphere and break up, according to the BBC News.

Cathay Pacific Airlines, whose main hub is based out of the Hong Kong International Airport, confirmed that one of its crews witnessed on Nov. 29 "what is suspected to be the re-entry" of the missile into the Earth's atmosphere, the broadcaster reported.

Cathay Pacific said none of its flight routes were modified because of the North Korea missile, according to the BBC News. The network reported that the launch was seen by two South Korean aircraft traveling to Seoul from the United States.

Since the North Korea regime does not announce its missiles tests and does not have access to international civil aviation data, the launches come without warning for commercial airliners and pose a potential risk to planes, the BBC News noted.

A Cathay spokeswoman told the South China Morning Post that its crew on CX893 made a report on Nov. 29 about the sighting, believing it was a missile tested by North Korea at 2:18 a.m. Hong Kong time.

"Though the flight was far from the event location, the crew advised Japan ATC (air traffic control), according to procedure," the spokeswoman said, adding that flight operations had remained normal and was not affected, the Morning Post stated.

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 pilot of a second Korean Air aircraft crossing the Sea of Japan inbound from Los Angeles reported a similar flash of light four minutes later, The Telegraph wrote. Officials from the airlines said both planes landed without incident.

North Korea's test of the Hwasong-15 was reportedly its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile and reached a record height of 2,800 miles, according to the country's state-run media, CNN reported.

CNN said the initial analysis of the missile by officials revealed that it likely involved a two-stage missile with a non-explosive dummy warhead.

Hong Kong politician Jeremy Tam Man-ho, a former pilot, told the Morning Post that re-routing the affected routes, such between Hong Kong and North America, Japan and South Korea, for such situations was an option for airlines.

He said that the Security Bureau and Civil Aviation Department should establish a panel to work with officials with South Korea, Japan and Russia, for better intelligence sharing over related military movements, the Morning Post wrote.

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Airline pilots from three aircrafts reportedly saw the North Korean missile that was fired last week re-enter Earth's atmosphere and break up.
airline, pilots, north korea, missile
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2017-50-04
Monday, 04 December 2017 08:50 AM
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