Cathay Pacific crew saw North Korean missile from plane, airline says

Dec 06, 2017, 00:35
Cathay Pacific crew saw North Korean missile from plane, airline says

"Currently, our flight routings do not transverse in the vicinity of the missile trajectory as we have taken earlier steps to avoid the northern part of the Sea of Japan".

The country has accelerated its missile programme this year, firing 23 missiles in 16 tests since February, according to reports.

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

The isolated and impoverished North has staged six increasingly powerful atomic tests since 2006 - most recently in September - which have rattled Washington and its key regional allies South Korea and Japan.

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

The South China Morning Post reports that the airline's general manager of operations Mark Hoey posted on the internal company communications platform to warn colleagues of the flight's proximity to the missile.

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.

North Korean state media condemned the exercise, saying the USA was "begging for nuclear war" and will push the region "to the brink of nuclear war", the BBC reported.

New test A view of the newly developed intercontinental ballistic rocket Hwasong-15's test seen in this

Crew onboard a Cathay Pacific flight last week said they witnessed North Korea's latest missile test.

The chance of an unaimed missile striking a plane are "billions to one", according to CNN aviation safety analyst David Soucie.

"At the moment, no one is changing any routes or operating parameters", the airline said in a statement to The Associated Press.

North Korea's missile testing, which is often conducted without prior notice as required under worldwide agreements, has caused some concern for commercial airlines.

Given the arbitrary nature of the tests, it is possible that a North Korean missile could hit an airplane traveling through airspace near the launch site.

"Though the flight was far from the event location, the crew advised Japan ATC according to procedures".

The flight "remained normal", the airline said.

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