Singapore Airlines Reroutes Flights Around North Korean Missile Paths

NKOREA Missile

Two South Korean planes also reported witnessing the missile test.

South Korea's military says the missile flew ten times higher than the International Space Station.

North Korea's recent test missile's apogee was "higher, frankly, than any previous shot they have taken", US Defense Secretary James Mattis said following the test, adding that Pyongyang could launch an global ballistic missile "everywhere in the world, basically".

Flight 893 was en route from San Francisco to Hong Kong when the crew saw what it believes to be a North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile re-enter the Earth's atmosphere, break up, and fall out of the sky.

While North Korea has claimed that their new weapon has put all parts of the United States within reach of a devastating strike, US officials say the latest test was a failure since the missile broke apart on re-entry as the airliner witnessed.

The crew on at least three commercial flights on Korean Air and Cathay Pacific have reported sighting the missile in the air.

North Korea's Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile reached an altitude of about 4,475 km (2,780 miles) during its 53-minute flight.

"Though the flight was far from the event location, the crew advised Japan [air traffic control] according to procedures".

Despite their planes' close proximity to these tests, Cathay Pacific is not planning on following Singapore Airlines' lead and changing its routes any time soon. "We remain alert and review the situation as it evolves".

South Korea said its northern neighbor regularly fails to issue notices to airmen (NOTAM) when conducting missile launches.

Cathay Pacific did not reply to a request for comment by publication time, but in a response sent out earlier to other media, the airline confirmed the incident and responded to the potential threat posed by North Korea's missile tests.

A plane takes off near the control tower at San Francisco International Airport on February 25, 2013 in San Francisco, Calif.

The details of the test remain unclear, with a US official saying the missile did not manage to make a re-entry into the earth atmosphere - the key problem of the rogue communist country's nuclear program.

Regardless of whether or not the test failed on re-entry, the newest missile represents a technological breakthrough for the regime.

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

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