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North Korea missile: Inconsistencies spotted in Hwasong-15 images

07 December 2017

Cathay Pacific (CPCAY) said the crew of a flight from San Francisco to Hong Kong reported seeing what they thought was the missile re-entering Earth's atmosphere on November 29.

The North Korean missile was sacked very high up, reaching an altitude of 4,475 kilometers (2,780 miles) before falling back into the Sea of Japan about 950 kilometers (600 miles) from where it was launched.

North Korea routinely fails to follow that rule and has ignored several letters from the ICAO urging it to inform airline officials of its plan to launch missiles.

The ICBM was sacked on a lofted trajectory rather than a minimum energy trajectory, putting more structural stress on the missile's re-entry vehicle but reducing the duration and intensity of temperature-based stresses.

Pyongyang reported that its latest missile flew as high as 2,800 miles.

An official at the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said, "It appears that Singapore Airlines is flying over Busan and the east coast of Japan rather than flying through Gangwon Province and the East Sea".

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The Cathay plane didn't travel over that part of the sea either, according to flight tracking data.

The missile was far from the plane, and operation was unaffected, Cathay said, adding that it had informed other carriers and relevant authorities. North Korea likely chooses splashdown points for each stage that avoid airline routes, said Vipin Narang, an expert on nuclear strategy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Korean Air didn't provide details of theflights that saw the "flash", or say where they were at the time of the event.

North Korean missile tests in the past several months have led to tensions with the US, as President Donald Trump has made multiple threats against the rogue nation and its leader Kim Jong-un, whom Trump has deemed "little rocket man".

Under the guidelines of the International Civil Aviation Organization-a United Nations agency that oversees air safety-nations launching threats to air safety must "issue risk advisories regarding any threats to the safety of civilian aircraft operating in their airspace".

Travelers who are concerned should know the chances of an airplane colliding with a missile are extremely low: One safety analyst estimates that it is less than a billion to one.

North Korea missile: Inconsistencies spotted in Hwasong-15 images