N. Korean missile risk leads airlines to change routes

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While North Korea has claimed that their new weapon has put all parts of the United States within reach of a devastating strike, USA officials say the latest test was a failure since the missile broke apart on re-entry as the airliner witnessed.

North Korea's new missile was reportedly a new type of nuclear-capable ICBM called the Hwasong-15. That aircraft was crossing the Sea of Japan (the East Sea, as it's known in the Koreas) on a flight arriving to Incheon from Los Angeles.

Cathay said Monday that the flight from San Francisco to Hong Kong reported witnessing the apparent re-entry of the ICBM that North Korea launched before dawn Wednesday.

The airline went on to state that it informed authorities and other carriers at the time.

"There are no current routes that fly through a unsafe zone", said an Asiana Airlines official.

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Flight 893 was en route from San Francisco to Hong Kong when the crew saw what it believes to be a North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile re-enter the Earth's atmosphere, break up, and fall out of the sky.

North Korea tested its new Hwasong-15 (KN-22) intercontinental ballistic missile before dawn last Tuesday, but while the launch came as a surprise for many, the USA intelligence saw it coming.

The chances of one of Kim's missiles actually hitting a civilian plane is very low, experts said. "We remain alert and [will] review the situation as it evolves".

In August, Air France-KLM expanded its no-fly zone around North Korea after a missile test.

North Korea has long objected against joint drills by the two allies, with Pyongyang's ambassador to the United Nations ruling out negotiations with Washington in November, citing America's "hostile policy" against his country and continuing joint exercises.

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