Cathay Pacific crew saw North Korea missile test


The Hong Kong-headquartered Cathay Pacific, which is considered one of the safest airlines in the country, said it has no plans of rerouting any of its flights.

A crew on board a Cathay Pacific aircraft saw a North Korean missile blow up over the Sea of Japan last week, the airline told CNBC on Monday.

Cathay Pacific says the crew on a San Francisco-to-Hong Kong flight reported witnessing the apparent re-entry of the ICBM that North Korea launched before dawn Wednesday. Looking at the actual plots, CX096 [a Cathay Pacific cargo flight] might have been the closest, at a few hundred miles laterally.

Korean Air pilots on two different planes also reported seeing flashes of light believed to be the North Korean missile when they were flying over Japan, airline spokesman Cho Hyun-mook said. The planes were on their way to Incheon International Airport near the south Korean capital of Seoul, en route from Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Experts fear the missile has the potential to reach targets within 8,100 miles, including the continental US, after the isolated nation bragged the device soared a staggering 2,780 miles upward.

Cathay is said to be planning to offer satellite phones to its crew on flights between South Korea and Hong Kong.

The missile did not travel far in terms of distance and landed off the coast of Japan, but officials said it reached an altitude of more than 1, 740miles.

The operators insist the missile flew far from the flight's path and at no point posed a threat to the aircraft.

North Korean missile tests in the past several months have led to tensions with the USA, as President Donald Trump has made multiple threats against the rogue nation and its leader Kim Jong-un, whom Trump has deemed "little rocket man".

The North Korean missile was sacked very high up, reaching an altitude of 2,780 miles before falling back into the Sea of Japan about 600 miles from where it was launched. The missile, said to be the most powerful one tested to date, can carry a "super large heavy warhead" and may put the entire continental USA in range.