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06 December 2017, 12:36 | Marta Robbins
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
North Korean state media condemned the exercise, saying the US was "begging for nuclear war" and will push the region "to the brink of nuclear war", the BBCreported. The missile soared to a height of 2,800 miles, ten times higher than the worldwide space station, and then came nearly straight down.
"Be advised, we witnessed the DPRK missile blow up and fall apart near our current location", the crew reported, according to the airline's general manager of operations Mark Hoey.
The crew of the Cathay Pacific Airways flight says they witnessed the rogue nation's latest weapon break apart and explode as it traveled through the sky early Wednesday morning on November 29.
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", the airline spokesman said, noting that flight operation wasn't affected by the suspected sighting.
While airlines can reroute flight paths to avoid such incidents, according to SCMP, Cathay Pacific said neither it nor other carriers were "changing any routes or operating parameters" at the moment.
The Cathay Pacific flight took off from San Francisco and was bound for Hong Kong.
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. "We remain alert and review the situation as it evolves".
The Japanese Parliament declared on Monday that North Korean missile tests are an "unprecedented, significant, and imminent threat" and adopted a resolution condemning last week's launch.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in October condemned North Korea for the repeated launching of ballistic missiles, saying they seriously threatened the safety of international civil aviation. Were the weapon to be fired on a minimum energy trajectory or standard launch trajectory, there is a possibility the re-entry vehicle would survive.
Regardless of whether or not the test failed on re-entry, the newest missile represents a technological breakthrough for the regime.
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