Singapore Airlines Changes Flight Routes Over N.Korean Missiles

Cheryl Sanders
December 7, 2017

North Korea recently tested a missile that experts say could reach any location in the continental US.

Korea's flag carrier Korean Air said that although it had not yet taken steps to change flight paths, it is carefully monitoring the situation, stressing that its current flight paths pose "absolutely no danger to passenger safety". The Hong Kong-based airline said the missile was far from the plane and the aircraft's route was unaffected.

"We have been in contact with relevant authorities and industry bodies as well as with other carriers". However, it said it would not be changing any routes as a result of the incident.

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

USA officials told CNN that the re-entry vehicle likely failed during North Korea's most recent missile test, and the crew of a Cathay Pacific flight claims to have seen the missile explode during re-entry, although David Wright, a senior physicist with the Union of Concerned Scientists, suspects that the crew actually saw stage separation and second-stage ignition during the ascent.

It hadn't previously announced the changes before this week. The airlines now reportedly avoid crossing directly over the Sea of Japan when approaching the region from Europe. One of the missiles just missed hitting an Air France plane flying from Tokyo to Paris, France 24 reported.

In response to the launch, President Trump said the United States will "take care of it".

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. "As long as there is a continuous hostile policy against my country by the United States and as long as there are continued war games on our doorstep, then there will not be negotiations", Han Tae Song said at the time. The decision comes after Pyongyang's continuous missile tests in the Sea of Japan disregarding worldwide opposition.

Moscow believes the regular drills, combined with Washington's saber-rattling, are "provoking Pyongyang into taking some rash action" after months of restraint, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday. Lavrov slammed the comment as a "bloodthirsty tirade".

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