North Korea's Latest ICBM Broke Up on Re-entry

North Korea Probably Tampered With Its Missile Launch

Most media outlets have adopted North Korea's preferred "Hwasong-15" designation for the system, noting that it's definitely much larger and seems capable of significantly longer flight times than its predecessor.

The crew of a Cathay Pacific flight over Japan saw a North Korean ballistic missile test last week, the airline said.

Four minutes later, the pilot of another Korean Air aircraft crossing the Sea of Japan inbound from Los Angeles reported a similar flash of light.

The crew of a Cathay Pacific flight in Japanese airspace reported a similar burst of light in the pre-dawn skies over the ocean.

In a message on a staff online communication platform, Cathay Pacific's general manager of operations Mark Hoey said: "Today (date unspecified) the crew of CX893 reported, 'Be advised, we witnessed the DPRK missile blow up and fall apart near our current location'".

"The North Koreans had problems with re-entry", the official said, according to a CNN report.

Cathay Pacific, too, says the CX096 flight was far from the event location. North Korean tests post a potential risk to planes as it rarely issues warnings of the launches or its missiles' intended flight path.

A spokeswoman for the airline says the airline has no plans to alter its routes in the region.

It comes as the USA and South Korea launches their biggest-ever combined air force exercise, a five-day drill is meant to improve the allies' wartime capabilities, South Korea's defence ministry said.

He added, according to SCMP, that one of their cargo planes may have been even closer to the missile. The threat posed by North Korea's sudden missile launches to civilian aviation is a growing concern in the region, although experts rate the probability of midair collisions as very low.

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