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06 December 2017, 01:07 | Damon Campbell
The leaked internal memo by Cathay’s chief operating officer Mark Hoey
Cathay Pacific said the ICBM test didn't come close to the aircraft and it now has no plans to alter operations.
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".
In August, Air France said one its planes carrying more than 300 passengers may have come as close as 60 miles to a ballistic missile launched by North Korea. At the moment, there are no plans to change the airline's flight routes following the incident. While North Korea has claimed that their new weapon has put all parts of the United States within reach of a devastating strike, US officials say the latest test was a failure since the missile broke apart on re-entry as the airliner witnessed. After the North launched dozens of rockets and ballistic missiles that year, South Korea complained to the United Nations Security Council and global aviation and maritime organizations about the lack of warning.
"We do take the matter seriously and are monitoring the situation very closely and will reroute our flight paths where necessary", a Cathay Pacific spokesperson added.
In a message shared with staff, Cathay general manager Mark Hoey said the crew had described seeing the missile "blow up and fall apart", the South China Morning Postreported.
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Cathay Pacific flight CX893 was making its way over Japan when Pyongyang fired the Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile.
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". But he said that while such missiles posed a danger to commercial flights, the risk was "low in terms of probability".
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis (L) and Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff speak to the press about the situation in North Korea at the White House in Washington, D.C. on September 3, 2017. "It's a research and development effort on their part to continue building ballistic missiles that could threaten everywhere in the world". In response to the test last week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called on China to do more to rein in North Korea, specifically through restraining the country's oil supply.
He said that the Security Bureau and Civil Aviation Department should establish a panel to work with officials with South Korea, Japan and Russian Federation, for better intelligence sharing over related military movements, the Morning Post wrote. "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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