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Airplane Flight Crew Gets Front Row Seat To North Korean Missile Test

Airplane Flight Crew Gets Front Row Seat To North Korean Missile Test

North Korea has developed ballistic missiles powerful enough to reach their intended targets, including those as far away as the continental USA, and nuclear warheads for those weapons, but the North has struggled with re-entry vehicle technology, which ensures that the warhead survives the flight.

Cathay Pacific flight CX893 was making its way over Japan when Pyongyang fired the Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile.

In a recent statement by the airline, it said that it has been in contact with relevant authorities, industry bodies and other airlines about what Cathay Pacific Flight 893 has seen. North Korean tests post a potential risk to planes as it rarely issues warnings of the launches or its missiles' intended flight path.

A Cathay spokeswoman told the South China Morning Post that its crew on CX893 made a report on November 29 about the sighting, believing it was a missile tested by North Korea at 2:18 a.m. Hong Kong time.

The crew of a Cathay Pacific flight from San Francisco to Hong Kong saw what they believed was a North Korean ballistic missile re-entering the Earth's atmosphere last Wednesday, the airline said Monday.

At the moment, there are no plans to change the airline's flight routes following the incident.

Cathay Pacific crews are warned to look out for North Korean MISSILES after crew spot last test launch re-enter atmosphere near passenger jet flying from US to Hong Kong

Cathay did not give the location of the flight at the time of the sighting, but said the crew of the CX893 flight between Hong Kong and San Francisco had notified Japanese air traffic control "according to procedures".

It also claimed the Hwasong-15 missile fired Wednesday can be tipped with a "super-large heavy warhead" capable of striking the whole USA mainland.

The flight crew's description of the missile breaking up during re-entry suggests the regime's nuclear weapon program still has not yet developed that vehicle, though the regime itself has claimed it has completed its "state nuclear force". "It's a research and development effort on their part to continue building ballistic missiles that could threaten everywhere in the world".

Hong Kong politician Jeremy Tam Man-ho, a former pilot, told the Morning Post that re-routing the affected routes, such between Hong Kong and North America, Japan and South Korea, for such situations was an option for airlines.

"The president has said, "We'll take care of it"-not the United Nations, not China-'We'll take care of it.' My hope is that North Korea will realize he is serious about this".

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