Singapore Airlines reroutes flights over North Korean missile threat

Lester Mason
December 7, 2017

However, South Korea says that the North Korean government regularly fails to issue these notices when conducting missile launches.

Amid reports that North Korea is testing nuclear missiles, airlines are rerouting flight paths to avoid North Korean airspace.

The airline said that, following the July 27 missile launch into the Sea of Japan by Pyongyang, its Seoul to Los Angeles flight routes have been altered. It hadn't previously announced the change.

Singapore Airlines said it was aware of reports about Cathay Pacific flight crew's missile sighting and was "closely monitoring the situation". Cathay Pacific's crew reported seeing the weapon re-enter the Earth's atmosphere, while Korean Air said its pilots "saw a flash".

The missile soared 2,800 miles into space without any apparent issue, but it is unclear how the weapon performed during atmospheric re-entry, as views within the intelligence community appear to vary.

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.


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

Shortly after the test, a spokesperson for the U.S. Defense Department acknowledged that the North Korean missile "flew through busy airspace used by commercial airliners".

"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", the Hong Kong-based airline said in a statement. North Korea joined the ICAO in 1977, but the last time it warned the organization of an impending missile launch was in February 2016.

Pyongyang, already subject to United Nations sanctions for its nuclear and missile programme, regularly fails to issue any warnings. The chances are "billions to one", aviation safety analyst David Soucie told CNN.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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