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emfizz.com December 17, 2017


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

05 December 2017, 02:16 | Bernard Bryant

Korea's official news agency shows the launch of the Hwasong-15 missile Credit KCNA AFP

Korea's official news agency shows the launch of the Hwasong-15 missile Credit KCNA  AFP

Cathay Pacific has confirmed that the crew on board one of its aircraft reported a suspected sighting of last week's North Korean missile test.

The report from the crew of the Hong Kong-bound flight out of San Francisco suggests that North Korea's latest missile test may not have been as successful as Pyongyang asserted in its state media reports.

The South China Morning Post reports that the airline's general manager of operations Mark Hoey posted on the internal company communications platform to warn colleagues of the flight's proximity to the missile.

Korean Air, a South Korean airline, also said two captains of its passenger planes saw flashes believed to be from the North's missile test while flying over Japan last Wednesday, the Associated Press reported.

The isolated and impoverished North has staged six increasingly powerful atomic tests since 2006 - most recently in September - which have rattled Washington and its key regional allies South Korea and Japan. "We remain alert and review the situation as it evolves". The Hong Kong-based airline said the missile was far from the plane and the aircraft's route was unaffected.

The AP reported the missile was in the air for almost an hour and reached an altitude of 2,780 miles before plummeting into the Sea of Japan about 600 miles from its launch point.

On Monday, Tokyo's parliament labeled North Korea's weapons program an "imminent threat".

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Cathay Pacific flight CX893 was making its way over Japan when Pyongyang fired the Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile.

Defense Secretary James Mattis said he still had confidence in diplomatic efforts to address the North Korea situation, but that the USA also has military options available.

Analysts say it is unclear whether the missile survived re-entry into the earth's atmosphere or could successfully deliver a warhead to its target - key technological hurdles for Pyongyang.

After last week's launch, the rogue state boasted that the weapon was capable of hitting the U.S. mainland.

According to Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), that is a comment that needs to be taken seriously.

North Korea has long objected against joint drills by the two allies, with Pyongyang's ambassador to the United Nations ruling out negotiations with Washington in November, citing America's "hostile policy" against his country and continuing joint exercises. "The president is not going to allow North Korea to have a nuclear weapon in their hands that can hit America", Graham told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on November 29.



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