Monday, 11 December, 2017

Flight crew witnessed North Korean nuclear missile test, airline says

An airline spokeswoman confirmed on Sunday that the crew on CX893 had made a report about the suspected sighting on November 29. SCMP An airline spokeswoman confirmed on Sunday that the crew on CX893 had made a report about the suspected sighting on November 29. SCMP
Howard Terry | 06 December, 2017, 00:35

After the North launched dozens of rockets and ballistic missiles that year, South Korea complained to the United Nations Security Council and worldwide aviation and maritime organizations about the lack of warning.

USA and allied ships are reportedly still searching for debris from the missile, which came down near the coast of Japan.

JADGE is considered the brain of Japan's missile defense system.

Japan's defense ministry is requesting ten-point-seven billion yen which is over 94 million US dollars in its 2018 budget to make the changes with hopes to fully deploy the upgraded version by 2022.

"Be advised, we witnessed the DPRK missile blow up and fall apart near our current location..."

A spokesman said on Monday that the flight crew of CX893 had reported a suspected sighting of Pyongyang's latest missile test.

Cathay Pacific said the ICBM test didn't come close to the aircraft and it now has no plans to alter operations.

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.

Hoey told staff the flight crew had advised air traffic control and that operations on the flight were normal.

North Korea launched the missile in the early morning hours of Tuesday, Nov. 28 as a flight by the Hong Kong-based airline crossed the Pacific from San Francisco to Hong Kong. North Korean tests post a potential risk to planes as it rarely issues warnings of the launches or its missiles' intended flight path. In response to the test last week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called on China to do more to rein in North Korea, specifically through restraining the country's oil supply.

The Singapore Airlines has said that the rerouting had not affected its planes as they have been doing it since July this year.

There is still some debate about whether the new missile represents a truly new classification of vehicle, as North Korea insists, or if it would be better viewed as an incremental upgrade over the Hwasong-14.

Military weapons have sometimes downed civilian flights, including Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which investigators say was hit by a Russian surface-to-air missile over Ukraine in 2014.

"Singapore Airlines is aware of the reports on the sighting of the North Korean missiles and is closely monitoring the situation", a spokesperson told Channel NewsAsia.

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