Cathay Pacific crew witnessed North Korea missile test

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Channel NewsAsia found out that Singapore Airlines (SIA) has taken steps to reroute its Seoul-Los Angeles flights since July this year, following Pyongyang's July 27 missile launch into the Sea of Japan.

The crew of the Cathay Pacific Airways flight says they witnessed the rogue nation's latest weapon break apart and explode as it traveled through the sky early Wednesday morning on November 29. Korean Air hasn't specified how close its flight was to the missile.

Minutes later, the pilot of another Korean Air plane reported seeing a similar flash of light, airline spokesman Cho Hyun-mook said, as cited by AP. A decision on whether its planes should avoid the Sea of Japan is also "taken every day".

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The U.S. military reportedly detected preparations for North Korea's most recent missile launch at least 72 hours prior, according to The Diplomat, citing U.S. intelligence sources.

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

It added that since the July missile, it also evaluates "each individual airline route on a daily basis".

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Under the guidelines of the International Civil Aviation Organization-a United Nations agency that oversees air safety-nations launching threats to air safety must "issue risk advisories regarding any threats to the safety of civilian aircraft operating in their airspace".

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In newly released report, Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA), a member of the House Armed Services Committee claimed that F-35 Joint Strike Fighters could shoot down North Korea's ballistic missiles in their boost phase.

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David C. Wright, a senior scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, wrote in a report Tuesday that the Cathay crew most likely had seen the missile's first stage burn out and fall back to earth.

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