Singapore Airlines reroutes flights over North Korean missile threat

Three chees North Korean leader Kim Jong Un celebrates after giving an order to test-fire the newly developed inter-continental ballistic rocket Hwasong-15

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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.

Korean carrier Asiana Airlines also changed flight paths on some of its routes between Korea and the U.S. in 2010 in order to avoid the risk of being hit by an unexpected missile.

The crew of the Cathay Pacific Airways flight says they witnessed the rogue nation's latest weapon break apart and explode as it traveled through the sky early Wednesday morning on November 29.

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"There are no current routes that fly through a risky zone", said an Asiana Airlines official.

Singapore Airlines changed the route of its Seoul-Los Angeles flights in July due to concerns over North Korean missiles, Singapore's Channel NewsAsia reported Tuesday.

No one flies over North Korean airspace, but the area around it is quite busy. "We remain alert and [will] review the situation as it evolves".

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Korean Air said the pilots on two of its flights bound for Seoul "saw a flash and everyone is assuming it should be the missile because of the timing". 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.

The same missile had also prompted Air France to expand its no-fly zone around North Korea, after the airline found out the projectile may have been as close as 100km (62 miles) to one of its planes . The isolated regime had been testing an intercontinental ballistic missile that, for the first time, appeared capable of reaching the West Coast of the United States. "That would still be low probability but more risky".

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