Unforeseen danger of North Korea’s unpredictable behaviour
An unforeseen danger of North Korea’s unpredictable weapons tests has been highlighted today as reports emerge that the crew of a Cathay Pacific flight saw the most recent ballistic missile while in the air.
Staff on the flight from San Francisco to Hong Kong say they saw the intercontinental missile break up and fall out of the sky last week over the Sea of Japan.
The plane was close to Japan at the same time Pyongyang launched a Hwasong-15 missile on November 29.
North Korea claims its new missile can now strike anywhere in the US, though it cannot yet mount a miniaturised nuclear warhead on its rockets.
“The flight crew of CX893 reported a sighting of what is suspected to be the re-entry of the recent DPRK test missile,” a Cathay spokesman said. “Though the flight was far from the event location, the crew advised Japan [air traffic control] according to procedures.”
Not changing routes
“Be advised, we witnessed the DPRK missile blow up and fall apart near our current location,” the pilots said, as reported by the South China Morning Post.
A Cathay Pacific cargo plane bound for Alaska, CX096, may have been even closer to the missile, at a lateral distance of a few hundred metres, according to Mark Hoey, Cathay Pacific’s general manager of operations.
The airline has no plans to change existing routes, it said.