Singapore Airlines Reroutes Flights Around North Korean Missile Paths

06 December, 2017, 01:03 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Hwasong-15 test

"Be advised, we witnessed the DPRK missile blow up and fall apart near our current location..."

North Korea fired what is believed to be its biggest and most powerful ballistic missile in its arsenal last Wednesday a weeks-long lull in testing. While North Korea has claimed that their new weapon has put all parts of the United States within reach of a devastating strike, USA officials say the latest test was a failure since the missile broke apart on re-entry as the airliner witnessed.

Earlier in October, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) had condemned North Korea for the repeated launching of ballistic missiles.

Responding to queries from Channel NewsAsia on the safety precautions it was taking, Singapore Airlines said that its planes were not affected as it had already taken steps in July to reroute flight paths.

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North Korea's Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile reached an altitude of about 4,475 km (2,780 miles) during its 53-minute flight.

"We remain alert and review the situation as it evolves", the airline spokesman said.

A plane takes off near the control tower at San Francisco International Airport on February 25, 2013 in San Francisco, Calif.

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

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The report from the crew of the Hong Kong-bound flight out of San Francisco suggests that North Korea's latest missile test may not have been as successful as Pyongyang asserted in its state media reports.

But analysts note the missile would require a re-entry vehicle that could withstand the heat and pressure of descent to deliver an intact nuclear warhead to the ground. But he said that while such missiles posed a danger to commercial flights, the risk was "low in terms of probability".

Meanwhile, Senator Lindsey Graham said Sunday on "Face the Nation" that preemptive war in North Korea is "becoming more likely" as the country's improving missile technology presents an increasing threat.

United States carriers have always been banned from flying over most of North Korea because of the risk of planes being targeted by the North's military. "The president is not going to allow North Korea to have a nuclear weapon in their hands that can hit America", Graham told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on November 29.

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