North Korea Missile Seen By Cathay Pacific Airline Crew

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Cathay Pacific said on Monday there were no current plans to alter its flight routes in the region despite the suspected missile sighting.

The report from the crew of the Hong Kong-bound flight out of San Francisco suggests that North Korea's latest missile test may not have been as successful as Pyongyang asserted in its state media reports.

According to Channel NewsAsia, the move has come after the July 27 missile launch by North Korea into the Sea of Japan, Singapore Airlines said on Tuesday.

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".

United States Defense Secretary James Mattis said shortly after the missile was launched that the missile demonstrated North Korea may have the ability to hit "everywhere in the world".

A view of the newly developed intercontinental ballistic rocket Hwasong-15's test was successfully launched is seen in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang November 30, 2017.

"We remain alert and review the situation as it evolves", the airline spokesman said.

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In a separate message to staff, Cathay general manager Mark Hoey said the crew described seeing the missile "blow up and fall apart", the South China Morning Post reported.

North Korea's last missile launch marked a major evolution in the communist country's ballistic missile program.

But analysts note the missile would require a re-entry vehicle that could withstand the heat and pressure of descent to deliver an intact nuclear warhead to the ground.

North Korea's recent test missile's apogee was "higher, frankly, than any previous shot they have taken", US Defense Secretary James Mattis said following the test, adding that Pyongyang could launch an worldwide ballistic missile "everywhere in the world, basically".

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.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in October condemned North Korea for the repeated launching of ballistic missiles, saying they seriously threatened the safety of international civil aviation.

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