Crew Saw DPRK Missile Test on Cathay Pacific Flight from HK

Flight crew witnessed North Korean nuclear missile test, airline says

An Airline Crew Says It Saw North Korea's Latest Missile Test During a Commercial Flight

A crew aboard a Cathay Pacific flight from San Francisco caught sight of North Korea's most powerful ballistic missile to date falling back to Earth, the airline said Monday.

The airline will not change routes or other operating procedures, but said that it would be on alert and review the situation.

CAD and the Security Bureau should discuss with ICAO whether it is necessary for Cathay Pacific to change its flight path in the area in question, Tam 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 missile was launched from a site to the north of Pyongyang, Yonhap reported.

North Korea said the Hwasong-15 missile is capable of reaching anywhere in the USA mainland.

The International Space Station maintains a fraction of that orbit - 254 miles.

Crew onboard a Cathay Pacific flight last week claimed to have witnessed North Korea's latest intercontinental ballistic missile test.

In a message on a staff online communication platform, the airline's general manager of operations Mark Hoey, also a former 747 chief pilot, said: "Today [date unspecified] the crew of CX893 reported, 'Be advised, we witnessed the DPRK missile blow up and fall apart near our current location'".

Japan's defence minister said the missile landed in the Sea of Japan (East Sea) about that time.

He added that a separate Cathay Pacific flight, CX096, "might have been the closest [to the missile test], at a few hundred miles laterally", although there have been no reports from that flight's crew.

The new ICBM, named the Hwasong-15, crash landed in the Sea of Japan early last Wednesday morning after flying 950 kilometers and reaching an altitude of almost 4,500 kilometers (higher than any of its predecessors). The flight was far enough from the missile test not to be in danger, but The Guardian says the incident highlights the "unforeseen danger" of North Korea's tests.

South Korea said its northern neighbor regularly fails to issue notices to airmen (NOTAM) when conducting missile launches.

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