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

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

"Operation remained normal and was not affected", the statement said.

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.

An airplane crew flying over Japan saw North Korea's missile as it plunged back through the atmosphere last week, their airline said, as South Korea and the U.S. kicked off their largest ever joint air exercise.

A Cathay Pacific flight crew reportedly witnessed North Korea's latest missile test last Wednesday, the airline announced today. "We remain alert and (will) review the situation as it evolves".

North Korea launched the missile in the early morning hours of Tuesday, Nov. 28 as a flight by the Hong Kong-based airline crossed the Pacific from San Francisco to Hong Kong.

Cathay Pacific said it does not have images or video or the incident. Numerous carrier's worldwide flights have a camera mounted beneath the fuselage, which passengers can view live from their seats.

Defense Secretary James Mattis said he still had confidence in diplomatic efforts to address the North Korea situation, but that the US also has military options available.

The pilot of a second Korean Air aircraft crossing the Sea of Japan inbound from Los Angeles reported a similar flash of light four minutes later, The Telegraph wrote. The North has launched its missiles without warning for years. Numerous airline's global flights have cameras mounted beneath the fuselage the footage of which can be viewed by passengers live from their seats.

Hoey said that another plane, CX096 which is a freight service between Hong Kong and Mexico, was only a few hundred miles away and could have been closer than the San Francisco flight, according to the report.

But if a ballistic missile were to come close to a passenger jet, it would be almost impossible for the crew to detect, a Hong Kong-based pilot told CNN in August in the aftermath of that missile test.

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 global ballistic missile "everywhere in the world, basically".

"You wouldn't even know it was coming", he said, speaking anonymously as he was not authorized by his employer to discuss sensitive matters.