Published: Wed, December 06, 2017
World Media | By June Phelps

'Japan Boosting Missile Defense Against N. Korea Threat'

'Japan Boosting Missile Defense Against N. Korea Threat'

Two South Korean planes also reported witnessing the missile test. The missile soared to a height of 2,800 miles, ten times higher than the worldwide space station, and then came nearly straight down.

North Korea's test of the Hwasong-15 was reportedly its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile and reached a record height of 2,800 miles, according to the country's state-run media, CNN reported.

The crew of a Cathay Pacific airplane flying from San Francisco to Hong Kong reported seeing the North Korean missile "blow up and fall apart" at the end of its test flight.

Earlier this year, Air France imposed a no-fly zone over North Korea after one of its flights flew past the site of Pyongyang's July 28 missile test over Japan.

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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.

Cathay Pacific said the ICBM test didn't come close to the aircraft and it now has no plans to alter operations. While it has a theoretical range greater than 8,000 miles, the missile only traveled a distance of about 600 miles from the launch point.

Korean Air said it was unclear how far the apparent missile re-entry was from its own planes, whose flights originated in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The sighting was reported to air traffic controllers in Japan, and the flight's "operation remained normal and was not affected", the airline said.

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"We remain alert and review the situation as it evolves", the statement said. The North Korean ICBM launched Wednesday was shot at an extremely steep arc, nearly straight up and then straight down. While the intercontinental ballistic missiles, or ICBMs, that North Korea has recently tested are not meant for use against aircraft, they could still pose a risk to planes.

Pyongyang sent tensions soaring on the Korean Peninsula five days ago when it announced it had successfully test fired a new ICBM, which it says brings the whole of the continental United States within range.

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

Regardless of whether or not the test failed on re-entry, the newest missile represents a technological breakthrough for the regime.

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