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N. Korean missile risk leads airlines to change routes

08 December, 2017, 02:06 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • North Korea launched the Hwasong-15 ICBM on Nov. 29 and it traveled 600 miles before it broke apart in the air and landed in waters near Japan

Singapore Airlines changed a flight route between South Korea and the USA earlier this year over fears about North Korean missile launches in the Asia-Pacific region, it has emerged.

An official at the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said, "It appears that Singapore Airlines is flying over Busan and the east coast of Japan rather than flying through Gangwon Province and the East Sea".

North Korea launched an ICBM last week that was witnessed by a passenger plane's flight crew.

Pilots aboard a Cathay Pacific flight reported seeing what they believed were the remnants of the event.

The test-launch raised tension further with South Korea and the USA, who on Monday began their largest ever joint air exercise, which the North has branded an "all-out provocation".

The missile was far from the plane, and the plane's operation was unaffected, Cathay said, adding it had informed other carriers and relevant authorities.

The Hong Kong based airline sent out a staff note earlier this week sharing the communications from the cockpit, with the crew saying "we witnessed the DPRK missile blow up and fall apart near our current location". "We remain alert and (will) review the situation as it evolves". The flights, one from San Francisco and the other from Los Angeles, were both headed for Incheon, the main airport serving Seoul, South Korea.

Last Wednesday, a series of ballistic missiles that the North Korea regime claimed to be able to reach the USA mainland were launched in defiance of stern warnings and global sanctions. The most recent incident was when the crew of Cathay Pacific and Korean Air spotted the Hwasong 15 missile launched last week by North Korea.

The chances of one of Kim's missiles actually hitting a civilian plane is very low, experts said.

Katherine Lam is a breaking and trending news digital producer for Fox News.

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