Published on Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Airline crew witness North Korea missile test on flight to Hong Kong

Crew onboard a Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong witnessed North Korea's latest missile test as the aircraft passed over Japan.

Those on flight CX893 said they saw the Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile re-entering the atmosphere.

The missile was fired by North Korea, which boasted that the weapon was capable of hitting the US mainland.

A Cathay Pacific spokesman told Sky News: "On 29 November, the flight crew of CX893 reported a sighting of what is suspected to be the re-entry of the recent DPRK test missile.

"Though the flight was far from the event location, the crew advised Japan ATC (air traffic control) according to procedures. Operation remained normal and was not affected.

"We have been in contact with relevant authorities and industry bodies as well as with other carriers. At the moment, no one is changing any routes or operating parameters. We remain alert and review the situation as it evolves."

The South China Morning Post reported that the airline's general manager of operations Mark Hoey posted a warning to colleagues of the flight from San Francisco's proximity to the missile on the internal company communications platform.

He said the crew had witnessed the missile 'blow up and fall apart near our location' and that another Cathay Pacific flight - CX096 between Hong Kong and Anchorage in Alaska - might have been even closer.

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