N Korea missile test raises flight safety concerns

Three chees North Korean leader Kim Jong Un celebrates after giving an order to test-fire the newly developed inter-continental ballistic rocket Hwasong-15

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

The world-renowned carrier changed the flying route of its Seoul- Los Angeles flights since last July as a safety precaution against the North Korean missile tests, stated a report in Channel NewsAsia.

Fears of a North Korean missile accidentally obliterating a passenger plane during one of Kim Jong Un's unannounced, uncoordinated rocket launches prompted at least one airline to change its flight course this year, a spokesperson told Fox News on Thursday.

US officials told CNN that the re-entry vehicle likely failed during North Korea's most recent missile test, and the crew of a Cathay Pacific flight claims to have seen the missile explode during re-entry, although David Wright, a senior physicist with the Union of Concerned Scientists, suspects that the crew actually saw stage separation and second-stage ignition during the ascent.

North Korea fired what is believed to be the biggest and most powerful missile in its arsenal that day.

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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.

The Cathay plane didn't travel over that part of the sea either, according to flight tracking data.

While Singapore Airlines have continued to avoid the area, a flight crew on a different airline last Wednesday reported seeing North Korea's latest ICBM launch.

"At the moment, no one is changing any routes or operating parameters", the Hong Kong-based airline said in a statement.

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

In August, Air France-KLM expanded its no-fly zone around North Korea after a missile test.

Any missile launches must be reported to the International Civil Aviation Organization to assure the safety of civilian aircraft. Such notices are issued to warn pilots and airlines of potential risks during their flights.

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