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Singapore Airlines Changes Flight Routes Over N.Korean Missiles

07 December 2017

A spokesperson for the airline told CNNMoney on Wednesday that it rerouted its daily flights between the South Korean capital Seoul and Los Angeles after a North Korean missile launch in July.

North Korea said last week it had tested its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile yet, which was capable of reaching the United States.

US officials told CNN that the re-entry vehicle likely failed during North Korea's most recent missile test, and the crew of a Cathay Pacific flight claims to have seen the missile explode during re-entry, although David Wright, a senior physicist with the Union of Concerned Scientists, suspects that the crew actually saw stage separation and second-stage ignition during the ascent.

Japan is preparing to acquire precision air-launched missiles that for the first time would give it the capability to strike North Korean missile sites, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said earlier this week.

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.

North Korea often lobs its missiles into the East Sea.

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

"At the moment, no one is changing any routes or operating parameters", the Hong Kong-based airline said in a statement.

In August, Air France-KLM expanded its no-fly zone around North Korea after a missile test.

According to guidelines issued by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), a UN agency in charge of air safety, nations have the "responsibility to 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.

Singapore Airlines Changes Flight Routes Over N.Korean Missiles