Asia Minute: North Korean Missiles and Civilian Airlines

Asia Minute: North Korean Missiles and Civilian Airlines

Asia Minute: North Korean Missiles and Civilian Airlines

The news comes after crew from two other Asian airlines-Cathay Pacific and Korean Air-reported seeing what they believed was a ballistic missile while they were in the sky on November 29.

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".

Since July, Singapore Airlines has altered the route of its daily flights between the South Korean capital of Seoul and Los Angeles because of North Korean missile tests.

A spokesperson for The International Air Transport Association told reporters this week that North Korea has an obligation to provide advance notice of any missile tests, but not surprisingly, North Korea has never done so.

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.

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"There are no current routes that fly through a unsafe zone", said an Asiana Airlines official.

The North Korean missile was sacked very high up, reaching an altitude of 4,475 kilometers (2,780 miles) before falling back into the Sea of Japan about 950 kilometers (600 miles) from where it was launched.

The crew of Cathay Pacific CX893, which was traveling to Hong Kong from San Francisco, reportedly saw the missile from their plane as it was passing over Japan and alerted the country's air traffic control.

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 chances are "billions to one", aviation safety analyst David Soucie told CNN. "That would still be low probability but more risky".

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